Hurricane Harvey Closes Courts in Texas and Louisiana

Hurricane-Harvey

Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn (Last Updated September 18, 2017)

Along with tragic deaths, catastrophic flooding, and widespread damage caused by Hurricane Harvey – a Category 4 hurricane that made landfall near Corpus Christi, Texas, on August 25, 2017 – courts affected by the tropical storm in Texas and Louisiana were closed for several days but all have now reopened, according to a notice from the USCourts.gov website.

Here is the final USCourts.gov notice regarding Hurricane Harvey that was updated on September 18, 2017:

Final update: September 18, 2017 at 1:25 p.m.

The Beaumont division of the Northern District of Texas reopened on September 18.

Updated: September 5, 2017 at 11:10 a.m. ET

Four of five federal courthouses have reopened, after being shut down more than a week because of Tropical Storm Harvey. A fifth courthouse, in Beaumont, Texas, will be closed at least until Monday, September 11, because the city’s water system is not functioning.

Three Southern District of Texas courthouses—Galveston, Houston and Victoria—reopened on Tuesday, September 5, as did the Lufkin courthouse in the Eastern District of Texas.

People who need to be at one of the reopened courthouses, but cannot get there because of transportation or other issues, should contact their court. Contact information is available at the Southern District of Texas and Eastern District of Texas websites.

A list of state courthouse closings and delays due to Hurricane Harvey are available on the Texas Judicial Branch Court Closures and Delays webpage which states that multiple Texas courts and clerks’ offices are closed due to Hurricane Harvey. Some county courts in Aransas, Hardin, Harris, Jasper, Orange, and Refugio counties are closed until further notice due to recovery from Hurricane Harvey.

According to the Hurricane Harvey Wikipedia page, the storm has brought more than 40 inches of rain to many parts of southeast Texas and the resulting floods displaced more than 30,000 people and inundated hundreds of thousands of homes. Hurricane Harvey has caused at least 71 confirmed deaths and economic losses ranging from $70 billion to $200 billion.

As reported by ESR News in October 2012, many courts from North Carolina to New England were closed in preparation for the arrival of Hurricane Sandy, a “superstorm” that battered the Atlantic Coast of the United States with flooding, high winds, and downed trees that left more than 30 people dead and approximately six million without power.

How To Help Victims of Hurricane Harvey

Among the many charities accepting donations to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey are the American Red Cross, Salvation Army, and the United Way of Greater Houston. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner has also established the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund that will accept tax deductible flood relief donations for victims affected by recent floods.

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