HOUSTON, Texas – Oct. 28, 2019 – LyondellBasell employees recently dedicated a Saturday to helping out their Rio Villa neighbors after the community flooded following Tropical Storm Imelda. About 40 volunteers, family members and Rio Villa residents gathered at the front entrance of the neighborhood on Oct. 19 armed with heavy equipment and landscaping materials to repair and beautify the two entrance signs that were nearly covered up by floodwater.
“As a company, it is part of our culture to give back to our communities even during normal times,” said Mark Gasper, project manager for LyondellBasell’s propylene oxide and tertiary butyl alcohol (PO/TBA) project taking place in Channelview. “It’s even more important that we assist our neighbors during their time of need. Rio Villa is a very close-knit community and they are very proud of their neighborhood, so it was important to us to help them recover from this storm event.”
Employees from LyondellBasell’s PO/TBA project team had made improvements to the signage earlier in September as part of the company’s 20th annual Global Care Day event, but heavy rain from Imelda on Sept. 19 caused the San Jacinto River to flood its banks and inundate the neighborhood. The signs survived, but they and the entrance area were covered in mucky debris, undoing some of the previous work of the volunteers. That made them even more determined to restore the signs and the entrance.
“We were not about to let a little water get in the way of our original commitment to the neighborhood to make improvements to the front entrance. It just delayed our work a bit,” said Gasper.
The PO/TBA team along with several neighborhood residents set to work to finish what Imelda almost destroyed. They cleaned up and reinforced the stonework on the signs, added new sod at the entrance, re-planted two large Queen Palms that were knocked down during the storm, added new landscaping, and installed flag poles behind both signs. During the event, the volunteers had a flag raising ceremony to commemorate the occasion, symbolizing the perseverance and pride of the neighborhood.
“We can’t thank LyondellBasell enough for the help they have provided our neighborhood over the years,” said Quentin Klaus, president of the Rio Villa home owner’s association. “Even though they have helped us during other flood events, this project was special because we all came together to make these improvements happen, despite the setback from the storm. Our entrance looks amazing and it’s a point of pride every time we come home.”