Communities throughout Texas were literally underwater after Hurricane Harvey. The Category 4 storm struck the Texas coast at 130 miles per hour, dumping torrential rain and ravaging cities as large as Houston and tiny as Beaumont. The tempest left homes, schools, businesses, residents and animals in a state of calamity. Water and wind know no boundaries, racial or economic, and no one was spared.

The national media was there when the tragedy first occurred but largely moved on to cover other events, including further hurricanes. The upheaval in Texas was not over, however, and residents are still dealing with the after effects to this day. Nineteen University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee journalism students traveled to Houston and the Golden Triangle area of Beaumont and Port Arthur to report on the state of affairs. They discovered that many of the smaller towns have oil refineries that loom like cityscapes, and some people feel a further disaster might be lurking in the air, not only in the water.

This is an area still in crisis and yet, catastrophes can unite communities, even as they divide people from their possessions and turn them into refugees in their own towns.  There were stories of hope amidst the destruction, and perhaps what Mother Nature took away, Father Time can eventually restore. In the meantime, it was important to revisit the wake that Hurricane Harvey left behind.

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