Implications of hurricane harvey on environmental public health in Harris County, Texas

Dhitinut Ratnapradipa, Christine Cardinal, Kendra L. Ratnapradipa, Amanda Scarbrough, Yue Xie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

Hurricane Harvey, a Category-4 hurricane, dropped more than 40 in. of rain across Harris County, Texas, over 4 days, inundating the third-most populous county in the U.S. and damaging an estimated 136,000 structures. Most major roadways were fl ooded, impeding rescue and recovery efforts. An estimated 120,000 customers in the Houston area experienced power outages; many were without power for several days. The heavily industrialized area experienced accidental releases of numerous air pollutants from the petrochemical industry, and several Superfund sites were underwater for days, delaying assessment of the potential chemical contamination to nearby waterways. The purpose of this article is to 1) provide an overview of the historic fl ooding event, 2) identify vulnerable populations, 3) highlight the potential environmental public health risks associated with the storm, and 4) provide recommendations for future action.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)24-32
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Environmental Health
Volume81
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 1 2018
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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