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Sierra Club Statement on Imelda Floods

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Sept. 20, 2019

HOUSTON, TX - Tropical Depression Imelda deluged southeast Texas on Thursday. The region, including Beaumont, Port Arthur, Houston, and Orange, has been inundated with torrential rain that has caused devastating flooding, shutting down highways and leaving thousands of stranded residents in need of rescue. Many of the same areas which are still recovering from the devastating effects of Hurricane Harvey have been flooded and otherwise impacted once again. An emergency has been declared by the mayor of Beaumont and the Governor of Texas. Despite the fact that Houston schools are shut down today , hundreds of students are marching in the streets as part of the global Youth Climate Strike today. Today also marks the 2 year anniversary of the destruction brought to Puerto Rico by Hurricane Maria.
According to the Washington Post , Imelda is “one of the top five wettest tropical cyclones to ever strike the lower 48 states, with a maximum rainfall total of 43.39 inches.” The Post also details the unavoidable and dramatic connections between the unfolding climate crisis and supercharged storms like Harvey and Imelda.
IN RESPONSE, COURTNEY NAQUIN OF THE SIERRA CLUB’S LONE STAR CHAPTER RELEASED THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT
“Our hearts are somber today as the devastating effects of Imelda re-open the fresh wounds of Hurricane Harvey for too many throughout southeast Texas. We rise in immediate solidarity with this devastated community and the first responders who are working tirelessly to save lives. Yet again, low-income communities and communities of color hit hardest by past extreme weather and already facing the worst effects of toxic contamination and fossil fuel pollution are again facing a crisis. We urge the state and the nation to focus attention on this disaster and ensure there is a just recovery for the families and communities in the wake of the flood.
“At the same time, it is critical to acknowledge that the unfolding climate crisis is supercharging storms like Imelda and Harvey, making them stronger and more frequent. Making this connection is essential if we are to avoid the worst consequences of runaway warming, and dramatically scale up action to tackle a crisis that is already causing damage to people and communities in this country on an unimaginable scale.”
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