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Planet Satellite Imagery Shows Harvey Devastation

September 1, 2017

By Aric Toler

Translations: Русский

This post was originally by Bellingcat for Planet Stories.

Using satellite imagery from Planet, Bellingcat has surveyed the extensive damage to areas near Houston due to Hurricane Harvey. The majority of post-Harvey imagery available is for southwest and southern Houston and Galveston, with little imagery available for eastern and northern parts of the area.

Some of the most devastating damage can be seen along the Brazos River, southwest of central Houston.

August 23 / August 30 (©2017 Planet Labs, Inc. cc-by-sa 4.0)

North of the Harris Reservoir, a small residential area near the Texas Department of Criminal Justice saw significant flooding around Owl Creek.

August 21 / August 31 (©2017 Planet Labs, Inc. cc-by-sa 4.0)

Below, we see flooding west of Houston, between the towns of Orchard and Cumings along the Brazov River. The flooding is especially severe in the northwest part of the satellite image, showing Brazos Valley and Simontown.

August 23 / August 31 (©2017 Planet Labs, Inc. cc-by-sa 4.0)

South of Houston in the seaside city of Galveston, damaging floods can be observed, but not to the same extent as southwestern Houston.

August 21 / August 30 (©2017 Planet Labs, Inc. cc-by-sa 4.0)

Just northwest of Galveston Island, we can observe flooding near Greens Lake in southern Texas City.

July 11 / August 30 (©2017 Planet Labs, Inc. cc-by-sa 4.0)

Bellingcat will continue to publish updates on the flooding near Houston as additional satellite imagery becomes available on Planet.

Aric Toler

Aric Toler has written with Bellingcat since 2015 and currently leads the Eurasia/Eastern Europe team. Along with his research into topics in the former Soviet Union, he organizes and leads Bellingcat's Russian-language workshops for journalists and researchers. He graduated with an MA in Slavic Languages & Literatures from the University of Kansas in 2013, focusing on Russian literature and intellectual history. After graduation, he worked for two years as an intelligence specialist in the private sector. If you have any questions, or have a story idea related to eastern Europe or Eurasia, you can contact him at

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