Harvey flooding on the Texas side 083017

Harvey flooding on the Texas side of the border with Louisiana. Taken from the helicopter Gov. John Bel Edwards used Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2017, to survey storm damage.

Advocate photo by Elizabeth Crisp

The hurricane gods are capricious, as we know from long and brutal experience, but it was a blessing when Louisiana was so lightly touched by the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

Even so, we've still got a lot to do for Texas.

While some Louisiana families and businesses were hurt by high waters and storm surge, the worst of Harvey fell on Houston and southeastern Texas. The people of Louisiana understand and are giving back, through national charities and relief funds established at community foundations in New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Lake Charles.

But the state's public sector, mobilized for a hurricane-level response, is also committed to the struggles of our neighbors to the west.

"We've been there. We're pretty good at this," Gov. John Bel Edwards said Wednesday as he surveyed a makeshift staging area on Interstate 10 just west of the Louisiana-Texas border — a trailer and some trucks largely manned by State Police, local law enforcement and Louisiana National Guard personnel.

Seeing that Louisiana was faring better than once anticipated, Edwards opened up the outpost to direct state resources to assisting its neighbor.

Rescue crews, shelters and other aid have been deployed in the wake of the storm. Staff from Wildlife and Fisheries have rescued more than 1,200 people and 126 pets in Texas, Edwards said. That's in addition to the countless volunteers who have provided assistance as part of the "Cajun Navy."

Evacuees are being sheltered in Lake Charles and Alexandria, where the state opened one of its shelters under the direction of the Department of Children and Family Services.

Louisiana was not unscathed. Edwards estimated seven parishes may be quickly added to the federal disaster declaration earlier granted for the five Lake Charles-area parishes by President Donald Trump.

A dozen years ago, the loss of life was much greater from Hurricane Katrina and the collapse of the levee system in metropolitan New Orleans. But Houston took in the living generously and with great heart.

The great cynic Mark Twain said of religion that it's "love thy neighbor as thyself," and the rest is window dressing. We can be proud that state government is part of Louisiana's response.