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Alum covers the story of Harvey

RHS '09 graduate Joe Fanelli reports on recent disaster in Houston and shares his experience with Roncalli Media staffer Meghan Looney

CAUGHT+IN+TURMOIL%3A+Alum+Joe+Fanelli+takes+photo+to+capture+the+destruction+caused+by+tropical+storm+Harvey.++Fanelli+is+currently+reporting+on+the+disaster+from+a+friend%27s+apartment+in+Houston.
CAUGHT IN TURMOIL: Alum Joe Fanelli takes photo to capture the destruction caused by tropical storm Harvey.  Fanelli is currently reporting on the disaster from a friend's apartment in Houston.

CAUGHT IN TURMOIL: Alum Joe Fanelli takes photo to capture the destruction caused by tropical storm Harvey. Fanelli is currently reporting on the disaster from a friend's apartment in Houston.

Photo by Joe Fanelli

Photo by Joe Fanelli

CAUGHT IN TURMOIL: Alum Joe Fanelli takes photo to capture the destruction caused by tropical storm Harvey. Fanelli is currently reporting on the disaster from a friend's apartment in Houston.

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Tropical storm Harvey has swept along the coastline of Texas and Louisiana, leaving devastation in its wake.  The Category 4 hurricane is expected to be the most expensive natural disaster the United States has ever experienced, and, in parts of Houston, the storm has set a record for amount of rain from a single storm.

Alumnus Joe Fanelli lives in Houston and is experiencing the effects of the storm.  Fanelli graduated from Roncalli in 2009 and is now a field reporter for the Houston Press.

Photo courtesy of Facebook
REBEL GRADUATE: Joe Fanelli, 2009 Roncalli alum, is a field reporter in Houston, Texas.  Fanelli is currently experiencing the nasty effects of tropical storm Harvey firsthand.

Last Thursday, Fanelli started to panic after reports that Harvey would be worse than initially anticipated arose.

“No one predicted the size and the magnitude of [the storm],” Fanelli said.

While the destruction has been enormous, it is interesting to note that what Houston is actually experiencing is a tropical storm, not necessarily a hurricane.  A lot of rain has fallen, but there has not been not a lot of wind and debris.

“Because the city hasn’t managed the [flooding] already and because it’s been such concentrated, continuous, intense rain, all the areas are flooded,” Fanelli said.

Fanelli did not evacuate as there was no evacuation order issued.  While there is some flooding on Fanelli’s street, his home is currently fine.  He is staying in his cousin’s apartment, which is also unaffected.  A couple of blocks down from his cousin’s apartment, in an area known as the Buffalo Bayou, it is completely flooded.

Photo by Joe Fanelli
WITNESSING DESTRUCTION: Alum Joe Fanelli photographs a flooded street in Houston. Water levels are predicted to reach as high as 50 inches this week.

Fanelli has been stuck inside, but through his field reporting, he has been able to see the people of Houston come together to overcome this tragedy.

“People from [a] neighborhood called Meyerland, which is an area that gets hit from flooding all the time, [have] had to really fend for themselves just because they have so much need,” Fanelli said. “The fire department and police can’t really handle [the damage], so the community has really stepped up.”

Pictures of  Texans in boats and trucks helping others have also been prevalent in the news.  

“If there is a silver lining here, I guess that’s what it is,” Fanelli said.

 

 

For more on the happenings in Houston, read Fanelli’s two articles written for the Houston Press, and stay tuned for more information from Fanelli and other Roncalli alumni:

As Flooding from Harvey Continues, Meyerland Residents Fend for Themselves

The New Homeless Converge at Shelters Across Houston

 

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The student news site of Roncalli High School
Alum covers the story of Harvey