The Daily Moth 8-29-17

August 30, 2017




Harvey Record-Breaking Rainfall and Updates on Houston Impact, Deaf Men Rescued, Deaf Woman’s Apartment Destroyed, Deaf Boy Rescued by Helicopter, North Korea Launches Ballistic Missile Over Japan, Mass Shooting at Public Library in Clovis, NM, and Movie Theater in Pittsburgh Offers Open Captioning After NAD Lawsuit 




Hello, welcome to the Daily Moth! It is Tuesday, August 29. Ready for news? 




The storm Harvey’s rainfall is officially record-breaking for the lower 48 states — with 49 inches of rainfall in the Houston area. It’s expected to surpass 50 inches, especially when Harvey goes through the Houston area starting early Wednesday morning with more rains and winds around 50 mph. 


It will be in the area for 24 hours, then move to Louisiana early Thursday morning, then on to Arkansas and Mississippi early Friday morning before dispersing over Tennessee and Kentucky and the surrounding states. 


The record for rainfall in the U.S. is 52 inches — from the 1950 Hurricane (or cyclone) Hiki storm that hit Hawaii. Will Harvey/Houston break this record? Hopefully not, because they don’t need any more water.  


Yesterday Houston officials released water from dams in order to ease the pressure on them, but now officials warn they are overwhelmed and that water will start spreading in uncontrolled areas. A levee was breached, prompting mandatory evacuations from homes in six different neighborhoods in southeastern Houston (Brazoria County), warning that will be flooded. 


Rescues are still ongoing at a constant pace, especially before it starts raining hard again tomorrow in the area. The National Guard said they have rescued 3,500 people and 300 animals


The death toll has increased to 15. 


A police officer (60) died when he was caught by floodwaters when he was driving to rescue others from flooding before dawn on Sunday. Apparently he was trying different routes but took a wrong one. His vehicle was submerged and apparently he drowned. 


Six people, a family (four kids and their two great grandparents) died when their van was swept into a river when trying to cross a bridge. The children’s great-uncle was driving the van and escaped, but the great-grandparents, 84 and 81 and the four kids, ages 16 to 6, drowned. Terrible. 


A woman (60) died when a tree fell on her house as she slept. Her husband was at the house and couldn’t get to his wife and tried to get help and when first-responders arrived, they found the woman passed away. 


One man died yesterday when he had a heart attack while trying to herd cattle away from flooded waters. 


The death toll is expected to increase. 


One good news — remember the picture of senior citizens at a nursing home that was flooding? They are now safe and dry in Dickinson (TX). Here is an updated picture. (


The Houston police chief said there were some looting and armed robbers and that police have caught some of them. He has warned that if there is more, he will catch them and make sure they don’t see the light of day. He said police officers are working overtime and sleeping in the police station. He asked people to not give up on them as they are continuing to send rescue vehicles and boats.


Shelters in the Houston are are now filling up and there are now more opening up to take in the increasing number of people arriving by walking in or by bus. Many people are grateful to be safe, but are stressed by the crowding and thoughts of what will become of their homes that they left behind. 


President Trump visited Texas today, landing in Corpus Christi to meet with Governor Abbott and both Texas Senators Cornyn and Cruz and the head of FEMA. He said he wanted the response to be applauded five years from now and for people to say, “that’s how it should be done.” He said he didn’t want to say “congratulations” yet until it was all over. Later on he said, “Texas can handle anything” while holding a Texas flag. 


He then flew to Austin to visit an emergency operations center and then headed back to D.C. in the afternoon. 




Yesterday I interviewed two Deaf men in Houston (Michael and Wayne) who were trapped in their home with a hearing neighbor — stuck by surrounding floodwaters. 


Good news — they have been rescued and are now in a shelter. Wayne posted on the Deaf Hurricane Harvey Survivors group that he walked to an army truck in hip-deep water and are happy to sleep in a dry place, are smiling, and have no more anxiety. So that’s wonderful news.


I reached out to a Deaf woman who lives in Aransas Pass, Texas — which was directly hit by Hurricane Harvey on Friday night. Her apartment was badly damaged. She’s sent me pictures and shared more — here it is. 


[Begin Interview]


Tammy Weidemann:  My name is Tammy Weidemann and I live in Aransas Pass and Hurricane Harvey did devastate my city. My apartment has been destroyed. 


We did evacuate Friday night to stay at a co-worker’s home. The hurricane hit Friday evening/Saturday morning. My husband and I finally went back on Saturday morning and we saw a lot of damage everywhere. At the time I didn’t know if the apartment was okay or not. My husband went to check it out and when he came back, he came to me with tears and said it was destroyed. I’ve cried enough to be strong now. 


There is one funny thing — my husband decided to leave a bible on the bed when we left. When we got back, the bible was untouched. It touched my heart. 


Our apartment complex is in between two RV/trailer parks. We saw many trailers rolled over, but some were fine. There were debris everywhere and damage everywhere. It is my first experienced with a hurricane. I’ve went through tornadoes and other storms, but this is the worst. Others have said this too. It’s bad and it’s going through the Houston and Louisiana areas — I have family and friends there and I’m worried about them.


I’m now staying at my daughter-in-law’s mother’s home for a while until we figure things out. Right now the apartment is unlivable. The roof is destroyed, all you see are the rafters. Our restroom’s ceiling was just full of water. Our blinds were destroyed. It’s just terrible.


We don’t know if we will go back to the apartment. We might end up buying a home or a RV. We are starting on a new, clean slate. Everything is wiped clean. Our goal is to have a better life because those circumstances really humbled us. 


You don’t realize how many good people are out there. What we have experienced — we are touched by people’s kindness and generosity. I see more good people than bad people. I have so much respect for the firemen, police, and ambulance workers who work 24/7, tirelessly, helping people around here. I did approach one of them to hug him and thank him for his service and for looking out for people around. 


[End Interview]


Thank you, Tammy for your time and for sharing your touching story. It’s terrible to see what happened to the local communities, but very inspiring to see how there are wonderful people who are ready to step in and provide support. 


A person from Houston sent me a link to a helicopter rescue of a young deaf boy and his mother. They were in the air in a metal cage and lowered on a highway. Check out this video from ABC 13 Houston. 




Very touching. The boy’s name is Jashaun and goes to a deaf program at a mainstream school. He lost all of his school supplies and clothes. There are people on the “Deaf Hurricane Harvey Survivors” FB page who are working to help the boy. 


I reached out to the Texas Association of the Deaf President Michael Swodba about TAD’s response to Harvey. The TAD said they are looking for any Deaf/HoH volunteers who may have a boat to help rescue the survivors. He said survivors need to contact the FEMA before August 31 for assistance. He pointed to a fundraiser for deaf victims via Deafopia — the link is below in transcript. There is more information — check out the video I posted on TDM Facebook or on the TAD Facebook page. 


I am still in contact with various people and organizations that are were impacted by Harvey. I will share them with you as I get them. 


Be sure to keep on checking Deaf Hurricane Harvey Survivors group on Facebook because there are constant updates and information there. 




North Korea launched a ballistic missile yesterday that flew over Japan and landed in the ocean west of Japan. The last time a North Korean missile flew over Japan was in 2009. 


There was no damage, but the missile caused emergency sirens in Japan and an angry response from their Prime Minister Abe. 


He said this threat seriously damages peace and security in the region. Abe has called for an emergency UN Security Council meeting. He also was on the phone with President Trump for 40 minutes. 


President Trump said “all options are on the table” to deal with the threat and that North Korea has showed contempt for their neighbors and the world. 


So, even with Trump’s multiple warnings and the $1 billion in U.N. sanctions, North Korea is still defiant with their missile tests. 




There was a mass shooting in Clovis, New Mexico yesterday afternoon at a public library that killed two people and injured four. 


Around 4:00 in the afternoon, a gunman went into the library and started shooting at people with a handgun. Witnesses said he kept on shooting and shouted at people to run. He emptied his clip. Police quickly swarmed the library and took the gunman in custody without incident. 


Two women died. Two men and two women were injured, with three of them airlifted to a hospital. 


The gunman’s identity has not been released, but witnesses said the gunman looked like a young man, possibly a high-school student. One video showed police arresting a male with jeans and a black shirt on. Some local media said the gunman is a teenager. 


The motive of the shooting is not clear and it’s now under investigation. 


The Clovis mayor said the shooting is a big blow to the community and that they are all hurting now. 




The NAD National Association of the Deaf attorney Debra Patkin made a video in ASL last week announcing they are now working with a movie theater in Pittsburgh, PA to provide open aaacaptioning. 


Debra said in the past, SouthSide Works Cinema refused to provide captions so the NAD sued them. From negotiations, the cinema has agreed to, for the next six months, to provide open-captioned movies whenever Deaf people request them (for any movie), as long as the request is before 10 am on the day of the showing. 


So this is nice for Deaf people in the Pittsburgh area. I followed up with the NAD to ask them on what technology was used for this and what would happen after the 6-month period.


The NAD CEO Howard Rosenblum said the open captioning is based on digital technology — meaning the movie theater can just activate the open captioning file and everyone in the theater will see it. 


As for the six-month trial period — the plaintiff wants a permanent solution, but while the lawsuit and negotiations are ongoing, the theater will provide six months of open captioning. Howard said what happens after that is up to the theater during negotiations, adding that how the deaf community responds to this open captioning option can make a big difference. 


So, Deaf people in Pittsburgh, you can grab this opportunity to enjoy movies with open captioning — not many other movie theaters in the nation offers this. 


NAD Video Announcement:




That is all for today. See you tomorrow and stay with the light! 

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