CIP Meeting hears Flood Damage reports

At their monthly meeting last Thursday, Oct. 5, the CIP community-industry partnership heard from three organizations that were deeply involved in flood rescue and relief during the week of flooding from Hurricane Harvey.

Speaking to the group, at the Baggett Center in Galena Park, were Garrett Berg of the Port of Houston Authority, Drew Scroggins of the City of Galena Park, and Lt. Mark Longrigg of the Jacinto City Police Department.

Berg said that the major impact the Hurricane had on the Port was the deposit of large amounts of silt in Buffalo Bayou, effectively making the waterway more shallow. In some places, he said, there was 8’-10’ of new silt, mud, and other debris.

To maintain the viability of the ship channel for deep draft ships, it is imperative that this material be removed.

Berg said that the Post is currently working with the Corps of Engineers, to dredge the material and place it on one of their landfills.

He said that for every 1’ of depth that is lost, the Houston economy loses $281 million annually.

Drew Scroggins reported on the impact that the Hurricane had on Galena Park. He said that 110 homes and 32 apartments were flooded, and that damage estimates are around $7 million.

The Woodland Acres Fire Station is currently out of service, waiting repairs. The Galena Park Fire Department made 160 deep water rescues, and he thanked Galena Park ISD and Jacinto City for loaning resources such as boats and deep water vehicles to help in the evacuations. Harris County also loaned Galena Park two boats for the rescues.

In the refineries, Scroggins said that two petroleum tanks at Magellan floated and leaked, and one tak at Enterprise leaked giving the neighborhood a bad smell. However, there was no environmental threat in either incident.

The Galena Park Police Department set up a shelter at Shafalai on Holland Avenue, which served 33 families.

Lt. Mark Longrigg of the Jacinto City police department reported that a number of businesses along the I-10 feeder, near Hunting Bayou had to close, including Chili’s and the movie theater. Jacinto City recorded 35” of rain during the Hurricane.

Shelters were set up at 1st Baptist Church, 2nd Baptist Church, and the Towne Center. Jacinto City has an Army truck, known as a “Deuce and a half ” that is especially useful in deep water situations. Longrigg said that during some rescues, the police and fire had to wade through chest high waters. He said there were lots of donations and volunteers to help, and noted that Domino’s Pizza provided 150 pizzas for the shelters.

In company reports, the following was said: Chevron reported the road to the plant was flooded, and there was no access in or out for 5 days.

Gulf Coast Authority reported 9-1/2’ of water on their access bridge.

Houston Cement donated $3000 to each employee impacted by the flood.

KinderMorgan said they were forced to shut down for a day, but had no flooding.

KMCC shut down their plant, donated $3000 to each impacted employee, donated $3.5 million to 3 Relief agencies, and donated 1 million gallons of gasoline and 1 million gallons of diesel to relief agencies.

LyondellBasell had employees that had to stay in the plant during the flood, until it receded.

Pasadena Refining reported it needed help from the Port Authority and TCEQ, but had its generators and pumps staged. They were concerned about access to hospitals, that were not accessible for a few days, so a “Mash” unit was set up at Pasadena City Hall.

Shell Lubricants said their Emergency Response Team came from national headquarters and performed well in relief. The set up temporary housing for employees that had to stay, and provided “care packs.”