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AWWA Emergency Preparedness Resource Community…FOLLOW HURRICANE HARVEY RESPONSE

A plan for effective assistance

Kevin Morley, AWWA federal relations manager


As you all well know, this incident is far from over and likely continue to evolve over the next few days. There has been tremendous outpouring of support from utilities that are willing to provide assistance. Please keep in mind that much of impacted area is still conducting life safety missions, and damage assessments will be forthcoming. The latter is essential to informing an effective response planning effort.

While much of the response is being handled from within Texas, there is reasonable expectation that requests will be made of utilities in surrounding states. Teams/assets within a one-to-two-day drive of the Houston region would be most logical first order target for requests.

Assuming an Emergency Management Assistance Compact request is issued, we will inform you on this page and through other AWWA communications channels.

Utilities that believe that they can provide assistance are advised to consider what they are able to offer now. This includes developing a reasonable cost estimate for deployment. Each utility’s management will eventually need this information, and the receiving entity will also need that calculated. Please determine what type of team/assets your utility could deploy if requested based on the AWWA Resource Typing Manual and the attached cost estimator.

We’ll keep you updated as more information becomes available.

If you have questions, please email me.


Mike Howe, Executive Director of the AWWA Texas Section

Residents of Texas and the utilities that serve them are in the middle of what may be the worst natural disaster this country has ever seen.  After a Category 4 hurricane hit the Texas Coast, just missing the population area of Corpus Christi, a major port and petroleum producing city, the storm did horrific damage to some of the smaller communities to the north.

The storm then stalled over these impacted areas, dropping record amounts of rain from South Texas to points north of Austin, and rivers swelled to far above their flood levels. At the same time, the storm continued to pump Gulf moisture into the greater Houston area, flooding the nation’s fourth largest city, which is home to many of the country’s major corporations and over 40% of the US base petrochemical capacity.

Hurricane Harvey flooding
Photo by Lorena Cazares

This event is not only impacting Texas. It will affect the entire country in any number of ways. And, our friends in Louisiana are next.

The storm is not over for Texas. The multiple county areas of Houston extending west to nearly Austin are experiencing a flood event that has never been seen before. Waters are slow to recede and the impacts are ongoing. Every utility in the state that is not impacted is preparing to provide as many resources as it can. We at the Texas Section AWWA and TXWARN, in cooperation with the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, are doing everything possible to restore water operations to systems that are impacted now and anticipate the needs of those utilities that are slowly coming to grips with this disaster.

We may be calling on our colleagues across North America to provide resources as we work through this disaster, and we are confident that we will continue to do what we always do – protect public health, and meet the needs our customers, come rain or shine.

You are welcome to follow our progress at TXWARN , under the Incidents tab.

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