J.J. Watt Announces Hurricane Harvey Fundraising Relief Has Surpassed $7 Million

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistAugust 30, 2017

Local residents wade through flooded streets after Hurricane Harvey caused heavy flooding in Crosby, Texas on August 30, 2017.  
Monster storm Harvey made landfall again Wednesday in Louisiana, evoking painful memories of Hurricane Katrina's deadly strike 12 years ago, as time was running out in Texas to find survivors in the raging floodwaters. / AFP PHOTO / MARK RALSTON        (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

Houston Texans defensive lineman J.J. Watt announced Wednesday the donation drive for Hurricane Harvey relief fueled by his activity on social media has raised $7 million, so he's increased the goal to $10 million.

Earlier on Wednesday, Watt provided details about the ongoing effort with his latest update video on Twitter after reaching $6 million:

Later in the night, Walmart committed another $1 million to Watt's group, via Ellen DeGeneres:

The 28-year-old Wisconsin native, who was selected by the Texans in the first round of the 2011 NFL draft, began the fundraising push Sunday night by seeking $200,000. He's posted multiple videos a day raising the bar further as each subsequent target was reached.

Brian T. Smith of the Houston Chronicle passed along comments Watt made Tuesday about the massive outpouring of support for the city.

"It's been an unbelievable display of what can happen when people come together. … That's what Houston's all about," Watt said. "It's a very diverse city. It's a very resilient city. It's been through things like this before - maybe not of this magnitude, but it's been through these types of situations. People are coming together, people are helping raise each other up."

Earlier Wednesday, the Texans announced their final preseason game, which was scheduled for Thursday night against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, had been canceled so players could return home to their families in the area.

"At this time, the priority of our organization is getting our players, coaches and staff back home to be reunited with their families, many of whom have been evacuated from their homes and are currently sheltered," the statement read. "The team feels it is imperative to get back home to help the Houston community recover from the devastation of Hurricane Harvey."

Brandon Griggs of CNN noted Tuesday the massive storm led to 56,000 calls to 911 in the Houston area during a 15-hour span and 3,400 water rescues were required as the historic rainfall led to major flooding in Texas' largest city.

Watt and the Texans are scheduled to play their first home game of the 2017 season at NRG Stadium on Sept. 10 against the Jacksonville Jaguars.