In Brief: Dedication: team at work

Lexi is among the hurricane evacuees seeking shelter at the George R. Brown Convention Centre in Houston.
Lexi is among the hurricane evacuees seeking shelter at the George R. Brown Convention Centre in Houston.PHOTO: NYTIMES


As Hurricane Harvey bore down on them, workers stayed at the controls of Texas' biggest nuclear power plant, keeping the lights on for two million customers.

Teams of employees have been at the South Texas Project power plant since last Friday. Technicians and engineers were organised into special storm-team crews, working rotating 12-hour shifts, washing clothes in the showers and sleeping on cots set up before Harvey hit.

Throughout the storm, the concrete-domed twin reactors have continued operating at full capacity, providing electricity for Texans who can still get service amid a historic flood.



A hotel reportedly charged guests more than twice the normal rate. One business sold bottles of water for a staggering US$99 (S$135) per case - over 10 times some of the prices online.

As Texans face the devastating floodwater left by Hurricane Harvey, they are also grappling with predatory businesses.

As of Wednesday, the state attorney-general's office had received 684 consumer complaints, mostly over price-gouging of bottled water, fuel and other basic necessities

State law prohibits businesses from charging exorbitant prices for necessities during times of disasters. Violators could face penalties of US$20,000 per incident and, if victims are aged 65 and older, the penalty is more than 10 times higher.




In flood-ravaged Texas, an act of kindness has set off a chain reaction of goodwill to total strangers.

Ms Anne Whitlock and Mr Michael Skelly, who had been ferrying hurricane victims to the George R. Brown Convention Centre in Houston from a nearby hospital, knew the centre was filling up, and that their own home, a 110-year-old converted firehouse, would be safe.

So they brought home a family - a woman who had emigrated from Mexico, her two daughters, her brother and a family friend - and Mr Skelly posted a message on Facebook urging others to do the same. And so began a chain of help, one Houston family assisting another.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 01, 2017, with the headline 'In Brief'. Print Edition | Subscribe