Boots in the Water: Assistance During and After Hurricane Harvey
Hurricane Harvey made landfall as a Category 4 storm on the Texas coastal city of Rockport at about 10 p.m. on August 25, 2017. Over the next five days, it moved inland and stalled over the Houston Metropolitan Area, causing unprecedented flooding and devastation. In the midst of this catastrophe, the Water Resources Engineering Group at Walter P Moore had the opportunity to serve the community, initially by responding to calls from federal, state, and local agencies requesting technical information support during the storm, and later through post-Harvey analysis and recovery.
On Sunday, August 27 around 2 p.m., while Houstonians were battening down at home watching the disaster play out on the local news, Walter P Moore received a call from University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) with a request to assist the Texas Department of Emergency Management (TDEM). The TDEM needed help to rapidly project maximum flood extents and potential inundation areas along some of Harris County’s creeks and bayous to figure out where to deploy personnel and organize emergency response. Within a few hours, the team had assembled online and started putting together a work plan based on their knowledge of Harris County’s watersheds and models.