Category 4 Hurricane Harvey hit the Houston area August 25, 2017 and dissipated on September 3, 2017. The area had a total rainfall of 64 ½ inches.
Hurricane Harvey was an extremely destructive Atlantic hurricane, which became the first major hurricane to make landfall in the United States since Wilma in 2005. In a four-day period, many areas received more than 40 inches (100 cm) of rain as the system slowly meandered over eastern Texas and adjacent waters, causing catastrophic flooding. With peak accumulations of 64.58 in (164.0 cm), Harvey is the wettest tropical cyclone on record in the United States. The resulting floods inundated hundreds of thousands of homes, displaced more than 30,000 people, and prompted more than 17,000 rescues.
MADD was not immune to its damage.
The Houston office did sustain damage to its building. The office building was flooded and received a 1 and ½ feet of water. The MADD office sits on the 2nd floor so there was no direct flood damage to the offices however, there is damage to the building.
One month later
The pictures show what the downstairs looks like one month after the Hurricane. The sheet rock has been removed, and the mold smell is starting to dissipate. The power was out in the building for two weeks.
The MADD Houston team worked from home and even had a staff meeting at the Executive Director’s home. The staff was able to return to the building on September 11, 2017. The elevators had standing water in the elevator shafts so, needless to say, we are all being healthier by taking the stairs!
As of now, the building is being worked on daily, but it will be at least a year before the building is restored.
Many of the staff had to remain in their homes for days due to all the flooding. A few lost power. Some sustained damage to their homes, such as roof and structural damages to the walls and flooring. But, overall, the staff is able to reside in their homes while renovating. While the office was closed, victim advocates and staff reached out to victims and volunteers to check on their well-being and offered emotional support. Most of the volunteers and victims were also fortunate to have little to no damage.
However, we feel privileged to begin rebuilding. So many others lost so much more. We are eager to return to serving the victims and survivors of drunk and drugged driving as they rebuild their own lives.
Damage to courthouse also may impact victims
The Harris County Criminal Courthouse sustained severe damage. It is possible that it will not reopen until 2019. The District Courts have relocated to the Harris County Civil Courts building. They will share courtroom space. The County courts have relocated to the Harris County Family court building. They also will share space. Jury trials have been rescheduled to 2018 since there is no jury duty at this time.
The Orange County Courthouse has been moved to the Probation Department due to flooding and mold issues in the building. Other Courthouses have been gradually getting back to court as usual due to displaced people within the criminal justice system.
MADD official steps up.
Kathy Bell-Schexnaider, Victim Services Specialist, received no damage to her home. Her oldest son performed water rescues in Dickinson, Houston, Beaumont and Lumberton for a week following the hurricane.
Kathy assisted victims with evacuations issues, finding shelters for several different families in the Jefferson, Hardin, and Orange County area and offered emotional support to the victims.