Advocate Photo Blog

My First Hurricane

In Advocate Photo Blog

Olivia Vanni

By Olivia Vanni
Sept. 22, 2017 at 5:07 p.m.


It has been quite the month here in Victoria, Texas to say the least. What started out as a normal month ended up throwing me into a situation I never knew I signed up for.

Covering a hurricane, let alone the strongest storm to make landfall on the United States since 2004, has been the most mentally and physically exhausting thing I have ever done but I would not trade it for anything.

From riding out the storm in an old county hospital to sleeping in the newsroom for almost a week after the hurricane I could not have asked to be at a better place with better people while covering my first hurricane.

Before Hurricane Harvey, I’d only seen the aftermath of a hurricane through images on a screen or in a newspaper. Now I was the one producing those images and if I’m being honest it was a lot to process.

There were some extremely long days but the openness and positive attitudes of all of the people I photographed that had lost almost everything still floors me. Walking through their destroyed homes while they pointed at what used to be was unlike anything I’ve ever done.

It’s still a lot to process, especially when even weeks after the storm you still can’t drive to the grocery story without seeing some sort of destruction.

But for the first time, I also got to witness my work making a difference, which is something that will stick with me for the rest of my life.

Below are snapshots into the lives of a handful of Texans that were directly affected by Hurricane Harvey. I hope they move you in some way and showcase how even in horrible situations you can always find small moments of happiness.
























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