A Window into the reality of the Hurricane Harvey disaster

Disaster Relief Houston, local musician is offered help from Vanessa Carlton

Calculations of the disaster in Houston due to Hurricane Harvey are overwhelming. Something to the tune of $160 billion, reported by the N.Y. Daily News, making it the “costliest natural disaster in U.S. history”. This estimated financial amount is nothing compared to the incalculable human loss of life, along with the emotional suffering. For those of us not in the Gulf region of Texas, or not having been through major catastrophes, we try to imagine what it must be like to endure this and to try to recover from such an experience.
To put it into perspective, with a window into the reality, one example of so many is the story of Aric Harding, who has been resident there with his family. He posted a video (on his Instagram account), which went viral due to the way it touches a nerve in viewers. The video depicts Mr. Harding softly playing his Yamaha piano, while halfway submerged in the floodwaters that have swelled into his home. He had managed to return to the house in order to retrieve some favorite stuffed animals for his children. It’s a wonder that the piano could still play – very surreal! Along with this potent and touching imagery, he lamented “I think it’s finally sinking in a little. What we used to have going as a city is gone. I really think God is going to do something new here”.
Vanessa Carlton had been promoting relief activities for the flood-ravaged region when she came across the Harding video (apparently through a cnn report). Obviously, moved by the eerie scene, as a piano player herself, she took to her twitter and facebook. She shared, “we need to get him a piano”. The Telegraph wrote up a brief article today that “Vanessa Carlton offers to buy new piano for Houston flood family”.
In case you didn’t know, Vanessa Carlton is in a current music tour opening for Stevie Nicks. Carlton’s most recent album release is Liberman. You may remember her going all the way back to her debut album in 2002, Be Not Nobody. The Billboard topping hit from that debut was “A Thousand Miles”.
Is it any surprise that people are reaching out to help those who are suffering? I think that this story symbolizes that human connection. Whatever it is that makes you relate to it, you can do something compassionate. I think that’s what inspired Vanessa Carlton to get involved. She was moved to emotional empathy by seeing the horrific affects of the disaster, as we all should be, if we are feeling in our hearts. For her, especially in the case of the beloved piano and a fellow musician, she could totally relate.