Hurricane Harvey has devastated Houston and the surrounding areas.
The storm dumped nine trillion gallons of rainwater over the weekend, and the storm still isn't finished. It flooded homes and left some citizens calling for rescue from an armada of boats that came from around the region and spent days retrieving stranded residents from their homes. Airports and roadways are flooded, making travel in and around the city a nightmare.
The mission in Houston is still focused on rescue over recovery while rain continues to fall, but funding for both efforts is already rolling in -- and the various sports leagues are doing their part, even as they work out logistics for impacted teams. On Monday, MLB and the MLBPA announced that they were donating $1 million to relief funds, and Astros owner Jim Crane generously donated $4 million, as well.
From Mr. Jim Crane: pic.twitter.com/bz8RYz2OhB- Houston Astros (@astros) August 29, 2017
Texans star J.J. Watt already surpassed raised more than $4 million through a YouCaring.org campaign, and is now aiming for more. The organization also donated $1 million to the United Way of Greater Houston Flood Relief Fund. And the Houston Rockets chipped in $4 million to Mayor Sylvester Turner's relief fund.
The charity efforts and helping those in need is what matters most. Of secondary concern is where scheduled games in the area would be played this week. The Astros and Rangers will move their series that starts Tuesday night from Minute Maid Park to Tropicana Field in Tampa, Fla. The Texans canceled their preseason game against the Cowboys on Thursday (it was originally going to be moved to AT&T Stadium). And LSU's game against BYU on Saturday (originally scheduled to be at NRG Stadium) is now going to be played at the Superdome in New Orleans.
The University of Houston's football team left the city on Friday and moved its operations to Austin, sharing facilities with Texas. The Cougars' game on Saturday at Texas-San Antonio in the Alamodome was postponed on Tuesday. Tom Herman, who left Houston last December and took the job at Texas, is playing host to his former players, and 21 of his current players call Houston home. Other schools around the state and region have had to inquire about needs for current players and offer support for those on campus whose families are dealing with the disaster in Houston.
"We've certainly been trying to do everything we can to help U of H in any way we can," Herman said. "I haven't seen any of our former players, but I've talked to [Houston head coach Major Applewhite] a bunch, and I'm sure I'll see a bunch of guys here as they head down to campus."
Dealing with the fallout of natural disasters is nothing new in a variety of sports. Here are a few other games that had to move after disaster struck.
1989: World Series delayed
The Loma Prieta Earthquake hit San Francisco just 30 minutes before Game 3 of the '89 World Series was set to begin, registering at 6.9 on the Richter scale. Fans were already in the stadium, but they had to wait more than week before the series resumed. The earthquake occurred on Oct. 17 and the two teams didn't play Game 3 until Oct. 27. The 49ers, who also played at Candlestick Park, moved their Oct. 22 game against the New England Patriots to Stanford Stadium in nearby Palo Alto, Calif.
1998: UCLA-Miami moves to December
Hurricane Georges hit Florida in the fall of 1998, and UCLA's Sept. 26 game against Miami was initially canceled before being rescheduled for Dec. 5. By then, UCLA was ranked No. 2 in the BCS, undefeated and in prime position to play for a national title. However, Miami erased a 17-point deficit and handed the Bruins a 49-45 loss. UCLA also lost in the Rose Bowl and hasn't been to a major bowl game since.
2003: San Diego Chargers move to Tempe
In 2003, wildfires throughout southern California caused 14 deaths and damaged at least 650 homes. As citizens were forced to evacuate their homes, Qualcomm Stadium's parking lot became an evacuation center. The Chargers moved their Monday Night Football game to Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona, even though their opponent, the Miami Dolphins, was already in San Diego for the game. The Dolphins won, 26-10.
2004: Marlins and Expos head to Chicago
Hurricane Ivan hit Florida and forced the Marlins and Montreal Expos to find a home for two games in their series. They found one in Chicago. Just 400 fans bought tickets before the first game, but more than 4,000 showed up to see a 6-3 Marlins win. The first-come, first-served tickets were $15, and $5 from each ticket went to hurricane relief funds.
2005: Hurricane Katrina scatters New Orleans' sports
Hurricane Katrina was one of the biggest natural disasters in American history and forced nearly every team in the area to find a new home for much of the next year. The Hornets moved all 41 of their home games from New Orleans, playing nearly all at the Ford Center in Oklahoma City. That run helped Oklahoma City later land the Thunder, too. The Saints had to form a patchwork schedule for their eight scheduled home games, playing three games in San Antonio, four games at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge and another in New York. Tulane's football team had to do the same, playing "home games" in Shreveport, Lafayette, Ruston, Mobile and Monroe. LSU moved its home opener against Arizona State to the Sun Devils' home field in Tempe, Ariz.
2007: Angels-Indians leave for Milwaukee
An April snowstorm in Cleveland forced the Indians to move their series with the Angels to Milwaukee, playing under the retractable roof at Miller Park. When the Indians left for Milwaukee, Jacobs Field was still covered by almost a foot of snow, despite three days of effort to ready the playing surface for play. Fans bought up almost 10,000 tickets for the series in just four hours after they went on sale.
2008: Tornado sends SEC Tournament across town
A tornado blew through downtown Atlanta on the night of March 14, damaging the roof of the Georgia Dome and rendering the venue unsafe for spectators. The SEC had to move its tournament to Georgia Tech's Alexander Memorial Coliseum, and eventual champion Georgia (which entered the tournament with a losing record) had to play three games in just 30 hours, including a doubleheader on Saturday, the third day of the tournament. After the tournament moved, only players' families, media, school officials and 400 fans from each school were allowed to attend.
2008: Hurricane Ike sends Cubs-Astros north
Once again, Milwaukee played home to a series displaced by weather. This time, it was Hurricane Ike, which also impacted the Houston area. Two Cubs-Astros games moved to Miller Park, just a short drive from Wrigley Field. Astros players had to make the trip and play on very little sleep, too. The Cubs won both, including a no-hitter from Carlos Zambrano.
2010: Blizzard ruins Metrodome roof, Vikings play Giants in Detroit
The Vikings play indoors to avoid the weather, but after 17 inches of snow in 2010, the Metrodome roof couldn't hold any longer. On Sunday morning, just hours before the Giants-Vikings game was set to kick off, the roof caved in under the weight of the snow and made the venue unsafe for spectators. The NFL moved the game to Monday night and the two teams traveled to play in Detroit, where the Giants won, 21-3. Tickets for fans were free, and any fans with tickets to the canceled Sunday game who could make it to Detroit were given priority seats at the 50-yard line.
2014: Blizzard sends Bills-Jets to Detroit
Once again, Ford Field played host to a relocated game. Around six feet of snow fell over just three days in Buffalo, and public safety resources needed to be focused on city infrastructure. The team hired fans to shovel out the stadium, paying $10 an hour, but it wasn't enough. The NFL moved the game from Sunday afternoon to Monday night, when the Bills routed New York, 38-3.
2015: Flooding moves LSU-South Carolina to Baton Rouge
Extensive flooding in the Columbia, S.C., area forced South Carolina to move its home SEC game with LSU to Baton Rouge. With the game moved only a few days beforehand, 42,058 fans still showed up at Tiger Stadium and LSU's band played South Carolina's songs. LSU won, 45-24.
2016: Hurricane Matthew spawns Florida-LSU controversy
Hurricane Matthew was bearing down on Florida as the Gators' home game with LSU approached. There was concern the game could be canceled, which could have given Florida an easier route to the SEC title game. E-mails later showed LSU AD Joe Alleva alleging they were ducking the game to gain an edge on their division, rather than accept LSU's offer to host the game. LSU refused to give up a home game and Florida ended up traveling to LSU six weeks later anyway, beating LSU, 16-10, and eventually winning the SEC East title. Because of the switch, Florida will host LSU this season and the Tigers will play only three SEC home games.