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Incredible before and after images of Houston neighborhoods hit by Hurricane Harvey

  • David Yanofsky
By David Yanofsky

Editor of code, visuals, and data

Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

The first cloudless day after Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Houston was Thursday (Aug. 31), and the clearing of the skies gave even greater visibility to the damage and flooding caused by the storm. Below are images of the Houston area by Planet’s satellites captured before the storm, and after it hit.

Near the Addicks Reservoir

Neighborhoods near the Addicks Reservoir flooded as the Army Corps of Engineers released water into the Buffalo Bayou. The most obvious signs of flooding in the satellite images are the roads turning from asphalt-grey to a muddy brown.

Near the Barker Reservior

A similar situation was captured at Barker Reservoir.

Along the Buffalo Bayou

These images show an area about 6 mi² (16 km²), a little downstream from the Barker Reservoir.

The West Houston Airport

A general aviation airport, it was one of the last to close during the storm. It is now underwater.

Texas state prison units near Otey, Texas

About 4,500 inmates in three prison units were evacuated ahead of the storm.

The Omni Hotel

The 378-room hotel was evacuated as floodwaters rose. At least one staff member is still missing.

Missouri City, Texas

Missouri City, which is southwest of Houston, weathered high winds that damaged 50 homes just days before Harvey. The area is now inundated with flood waters from the Brazos river. A local shelter has registered more than 600 people, according to the Community Impact newspaper.

Homes on Lake Houston

When Lake Houston swelled, the homes on its banks suffered, as did the boathouses which sit at the end of long piers.

Humble, Texas

The Flooded Sam Houston Tollway

Part of the second-ring belt highway that circles the city, photos of this flooded road and the surrounding neighborhood were circulated widely.

Cypress Creek

Cypress Creek brought flood waters into nearby neighborhoods and forced the evacuation of CHI St. Luke’s Health-Vintage Hospital (paywall), which is circled above.


The golf courses are the most noticeable flooded areas in these images (due to their tree- and building-less landscapes), but nestled between them are dozens of homes, as well as apartment complexes and shopping centers, that were surrounded by floodwaters.

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