Editorial: Time to give back

Six years ago, when Irene came roaring through Vermont, people here proved they were Vermont Strong by bonding together and working shoulder to shoulder to overcome the widespread destruction caused by that storm's massive flooding.

But Vermont didn't go it alone. It had help from its neighbors, and from the rest of the nation.

Now Houston needs our help. Badly.

As this is being written, it's still raining in Southeast Texas, and it will be days before the water recedes and reveals what destruction it has wrought. The footage of flood water surrounding petrochemical factories doesn't bode well for the environment. If the experience of post-Katrina New Orleans is any indication, the road back will be long and difficult.

There will be time to debate the reasons the unprecedented flooding in Houston got so bad. Unchecked development likely played a role, as detailed in an excellent story written last year by the Texas Tribune and ProPublica. And the warming of the Gulf of Mexico thanks to climate change might have given the storm more thermal energy with which to unleash heavy downpours on Texas and Louisiana.

But now isn't the time to play armchair quarterback. Now is the time to extend a helping hand.

Choose your charity well, by all means. Do the research.

But once you've done your homework, open your heart.


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