Editorials

Those in Harvey’s path need government’s help and they need it now

Faith Hernandez is held by her mother Alexis Hernandez as they make their way into a crowded George R. Brown Convention Center after evacuation from the floodwaters from Tropical Storm Harvey in Houston, Texas, on Tuesday.
Faith Hernandez is held by her mother Alexis Hernandez as they make their way into a crowded George R. Brown Convention Center after evacuation from the floodwaters from Tropical Storm Harvey in Houston, Texas, on Tuesday. AP

The need is painfully clear.

No one who has seen the photos and videos or has read the stories of harrowing and heroic rescues, of massive flooding, of displaced families, can deny that the people who found themselves in the path of Hurricane Harvey need help.

President Donald Trump has seen the damage firsthand. He has offered the moral support that is so crucial in the immediate aftermath. Billions of dollars likely will be needed to deal with the damage inflicted by this massive storm and the widespread flooding it has caused.

This is no time for political posturing and we expect to see none from our representatives in Congress as they work on an emergency appropriation bill to deal with this disaster.

To make demands for anything other than relief dollars to be attached to that bill should be quickly dismissed.

There were plenty of hiccups in the government’s response to South Mississippi after Katrina. We trust the government has learned from those mistakes and will not repeat them.

The best thing we can do for the people of eastern Texas as we wait for the storm to clear out, is to let them know the full force of the federal government and the people of the country will stand with them when they are ready to rebuild. No community should be so small it becomes invisible and no one who needs our help should be missed.

We don’t yet know the extent of the damage but we know the cost will be staggering. But it is a cost we all must bear.

The people hit are dealing with enough uncertainty in their lives. The federal response should, at the very least, be a certainty.

These are the days when true leaders emerge. And this recovery will take many leaders working together.

The editorial represents the views of the Sun Herald editorial board. Opinions of columnists and cartoonists are their own.

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