“That’s our city:” JJ Watt launches fundraiser for Harvey victims, donates $100K

HOUSTON, Texas — Former Wisconsin Badgers DE JJ Watt, a Pewaukee native, has created a fundraiser to help victims of Tropical Storm Harvey, calling the devastation he’s seen in the Houston area “very tough,” and asking “if you can donate, please donate.”

Watt on Sunday, August 27th posted a video to his Facebook page, along with a link to a YouCaring fundraiser he’s launched in an effort to help those impacted by this storm.

Flooding from Tropical Storm Harvey is overburdening resources as authorities in and around Houston scramble to save those trapped by the high waters.

Hopes for an immediate respite from Harvey’s wrath seem unlikely as the National Weather Service Sunday called the flooding “unprecedented” and warned things may become more dire if a record-breaking 50 inches of rain falls on parts of Texas in coming days.

The rainfall threatens to exacerbate an already dangerous situation, as Harvey’s rains have left many east Texas rivers and bayous swollen to their banks or beyond.

“The breadth and intensity of this rainfall are beyond anything experienced before,” the weather service said. “Catastrophic flooding is now underway and expected to continue for days.”

“Seeing everything that’s going on is very difficult. We have family and friends back there, some guys have young kids, some guys have wives, families. That’s our city,” Watt said in his video Sunday. “It’s very tough to watch your city get hit by such a bad storm and not be there to help, not be there to help with the recovery, not be there to help with the process. It’s very tough.”

According to ESPN, Watt donated $100,000 to the fundraiser.

ESPN reports the Houston Texans were unable to get back to Houston after Saturday night’s game in New Orleans. They instead flew to Dallas to wait out the storm. They’ll remain there at least through Monday, ESPN says.

“Everybody in Houston stay safe,” Watt says in his video. “We’re thinking about you. We’re going to come back. We’re going to help you out. The recovery efforts are going to be massive. Houston’s a great city. We’re going to come out of this stronger than ever.”

Watt has raised the goal of his fundraiser FOUR times — from $200K to $500K to $1M to 1.5M.