Learn English from the news: Hurricane Recovery

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Original article


Hi students! It’s Shayna from EspressoEnglish.net and today I’m bringing you another lesson where you can learn English from the news.

Today’s article is about the recovery of the city of Houston after it was hit by a hurricane. If you want to read the original article, you can click on the link in the video description. And if you want to get more of my English lessons by e-mail, click on the link in the video or in the description to sign up.

A few months after the hurricane, the article says that the city of Houston has returned to a semblance of normalcy. The word semblance means an outer appearance, so it appears like the city is normal, but that is not really the case.

The storm killed scores of people – the word scores in this context means large numbers of people. The local government and residents are still dealing with the aftermath – this word aftermath refers to the results and the period of time after a disastrous event.

The article mentions a school that was in a flood-prone neighborhood. Prone means “having a tendency,” so if an area is flood-prone, it means it tends to flood or is likely to flood. That school was damaged, so now the students are attending class in another location which is cramped – the adjective cramped describes when there is very little space and it is uncomfortable. The repair costs for the schools will be exorbitant – that means extremely expensive, even beyond what is expected/customary.

Many neighborhoods in Houston that were once stable are now gutted – that means the insides have been destroyed – and revenue from property taxes is going to plummet, meaning it will decrease a lot and very suddenly.

A lot of residents are currently living in hotels, but don’t have enough money to pay for the repairs to their houses. The article describes them as being in limbo – that means a condition of prolonged uncertainty, so they will spend a long time in uncertain conditions.

The mayor – that’s the local government leader of the city – says he’s happy with how the city is bouncing back. This phrasal verb describes recovering from a disaster, injury, or problem. But, he says, there are still tremendous needs – tremendous means very large. The mayor has lobbied for additional funding – this word lobby as a verb means to try to influence government/public officials for or against a specific cause. And funding refers to money.

That’s it for today’s edition of November News – I hope you’ve learned some new vocabulary!

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