Hurricane Harvey

Ben Woods

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Hurricane Harvey has given the United States a scare it hasn’t had since Katrina, and Texas residents, even those far away from the hurricane, have felt its effect. 42,399 people have been displaced by the storm, their houses and lives ruined. Many without the funds to rent a hotel room for a long period of time took shelter in recreation centers around Dallas, hundreds confined into tiny cots with nowhere to go, and they truly couldn’t go anywhere:  their homes were destroyed by high winds and torrential rain, more falling in a week than normally falls in a year. It is estimated that Harvey dumped over nineteen trillion gallons of water on the Texas and Louisiana coastlines. Residents of the devastated towns called what was left a “war
zone,” with everything of value destroyed.

Gas ran out as people, including locals, rushed to the gas stations in lines going into the street to fill up their cars and prepare for a long time without ready access to the valuable fuel source. In one particularly horrifying occurrence, water ran out in Beaumont, Texas. Other cities unaffected by the catastrophe had to fly in and airdrop water and supplies. The rest of the United States saw Texas’s plight and rushed to their aid. Companies alone donated over $157 million to the cause, and many celebrities raised personal charities themselves, most notably J.J. Watt, a football player for the Houston Texans, who raised over twenty million dollars after an initial goal of only $250 thousand. All in all, from business donations to individual donations, Harvey’s total donations topped Katrina’s by $65 billion.

Along with many tragedies, Hurricane Harvey also brought many other, shall we say, strange arrivals to the Texas coast. On the beach off the coast of Texas City, the social media manager for the Audubon Society spotted a huge, terrifying, fanged, and completely insane-looking sea creature. Her post on Twitter prompted, “Okay, biology Twitter, What the heck is this?” This mystery creature looks like it birthed every eel in the ocean. It is huge: long, brown, and fat with enormous teeth and no face or eyes. Twitter exploded with people guessing “what the heck” it was, some even thinking it was an alien. Finally, scientists got fed up with reading implausible guesses to the terrifying creature, and many called it an Aplatophis Chauliodis, or, the Fangtooth Snake-Eel. I am terrified by reading just that name, but it perfectly describes the creature. The Fangtooth Snake-Eel burrows 100-300 feet underwater, and lives from the Gulf of Mexico to French Guiana. Let’s be glad it wasn’t alive when it washed ashore, or it probably would have taken as many lives on its own as Harvey did altogether.

Image result for hurricane harvey eel

 

 

 

 

 

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