The city of Houston is underwater. Hurricane Harvey hit over the weekend, and heavy rain has been hovering over Houston since then, leading to catastrophic flooding. An unknown number of people have drowned, and countless more are awaiting rescue. Thousands have been displaced. In in an effort to communicate the urgency and gravity of the situation, some of Houston's most visible stars are using their platforms to speak up.
Paul Wall and Baby Bash checked in with TMZ to describe the scene of the city firsthand.
"It's chaos, tragedy," Bash said. "It's almost like a biblical, historical flood. ... we just want people to understand this is real, this is not no joke. This is devastating." Bash also said looting has started to go down, which has affected his own family as his father's truck was stolen. "The flood is one thing. And then, the chaos and the anarchy and the craziness and the people just desperate to steal to survive is gonna be a whole other issue." He encouraged people to think past money and consider donating clothing and other items.
Paul Wall described how life has changed for Houstonians caught in the worst of the storm. "Some houses are completely gone," Paul said. "Some people lost everything: their life savings, clothes, possessions. A lot of these kids lost all their school supplies, school clothes. It's sad. We definitely weren't expecting it to be this bad, and it's continuing to get worse."
Paul said water and food are most important for the victims right now, as all area grocery stores have been cleaned out and are largely inaccessible. Paul also said that he and fellow Houston MCs Slim Thug and Z-Ro are collaborating to provide ways to give back.
Bun B spoke to Mass Appeal about the severity of the damage in Houston, emphasizing the dangers presently facing those still in the city. "There are hundreds of families right now as we’re talking, stuck in the attics of their homes and on the roofs of their houses and on the top floors of their buildings right now," he said. "They’re stuck right now. Phones are dead. ... we need boats. It’s insane what’s happening. This is the fourth-largest city in America, you know? And I’m not saying that it’s the government’s fault or anybody’s fault. This is mother nature. And like I said, maybe there are things that people could’ve done different, maybe it’s human error, we’ll be able to argue that later. Right now we need boats, and we need prayer."
Trae tha Truth took to Instagram to explain how best to come together to get through the tragedy:
"It's a lot of people in need," Trae said. "Just know we coming... we gotta come together for the city, man. Make sure y'all take y'all time, be safe. Don't go out there trying to be a hero and be put in a worse situation. Make sure it makes sense. Let's do this the right way."
Local rapper Kirko Bangz is using his social media to draw attention to those seeking rescue:
Woman and 7 babies stuck in jack in the box off Tidwell and mesa need help asap! https://t.co/v5rVQm2wcQ— Kirko Bangz (@KirkoBangz) August 27, 2017
Houston 🙏🏽 pic.twitter.com/4Rx0jugNT3— Kirko Bangz (@KirkoBangz) August 27, 2017
DJ Mr. Rogers, best known for his chopped-and-screwed mixes, is using his social channels to offer hotel rooms to anyone in need:
Anybody displaced from the flood that's in the Pearland area and is need of a hotel room and/or food tonight hit me and I'll take care of it— DJ Mr. Rogers (@djmrrogers) August 28, 2017
On a related note, Beyoncé announced she was working on a plan to help the victims of the flood.
"My heart goes out to my hometown, Houston, and I remain in constant prayer for those affected and for the rescuers who have been so brave and determined to do so much to help," Beyoncé told the Chronicle. "I am working closely with my team at BeyGOOD as well as my pastor (Rudy Rasmus at St. John's in downtown Houston) to implement a plan to help as many as we can."
If you have the means, you can find a list of ways to help Houston and other affected areas of Texas here.