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Message from Section President re: Hurricane Harvey
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 Special Edition: September 2017










Hurricane Harvey Response & Recovery: A Message from Section President Craig Thompson, P.E.

 

Dear ASCE Texas Section Members,

 

The last week has been incredibly trying times for our state.  Eight days ago, I was preparing to hunker down and ride out Tropical Storm Harvey in my home in Corpus Christi.  Twenty-four hours later praying that that the storm shutter on my windows would hold as a projected Category 4 hurricane was bearing down on the Texas Gulf Coast.  While the damage in Corpus Christi was mostly limited to downed trees, power lines, and fences just up the coast a natural disaster of historic proportions was unfolding.

 

I, like many of you, watched the rainfall continue for days, dropping more than 50 inches of rain and flooding most parts of Southeast Texas from Victoria to Houston to Beaumont and all parts in between.  Waterways like Buffalo Bayou and the Brazos River cresting to unprecedented heights, displacing hundreds of thousands of people and worse, killing dozens.

 

Yesterday I drove through Rockport and saw complete devastation – homes gone, churches destroyed, and schools cancelled indefinitely.  My heart sunk.  Rocked to the very core, that community will re-build and so will the rest of Texas. 

 

But as I was mesmerized by the scale of the catastrophe, I was suddenly emboldened and inspired by the humanity I witnessed.  The rescue teams and their boats, led by first responders and citizens, saving people from homes in Houston and Southeast Texas.  The line of vehicles passing me on their way to Rockport with water, supplies and manpower.  The groups of teenagers going house-to-house to help homeowners dig through their rubble before the bulldozers come, searching for the memories they couldn’t leave behind.  Or the stories of one of our own, Kate Osborn, E.I.T of the Southeast Texas Branch, whose husband was tired, wet, shivering but going back out on a boat to help rescue more people. President Trump was right, Texas can handle anything.

 

It is during times like these that we fully realize the power of a community and an organization like ours. The word “resilient” can mean a lot of things but to me it’s the ability to withstand and, then, recover from an event like this storm.  As civil engineers and members of ASCE Texas Section, we will play our part in the recovery effort.

 


 

 

There are numerous ways to give back to your community. Here are a few suggestions:

  • The Texas Alliance for Minorities in Engineering (TAME) is working to provide school supplies and classroom supplies to approx. 500 TAME students in the Gulf Coast and Golden Triangle Chapters directly impacted by the storm.

I was on a call this morning with leaders from impacted Branches, the Texas Section, and ASCE Global. We exchanged updates, discussed ongoing relief efforts, and brainstormed actions for a speedy recovery. These leaders are more than willing to do their part as civil engineers, learning from events like this, helping communities recover, and building stronger, more resilient infrastructure. Visit asce.org/Hurricane-Harvey for more ways to help, find resources, join member discussions, and more.

The Texas Section will provide additional updates on our website in the coming weeks.

 

ASCE Texas Section looks forward to supporting the Houston, Southeast Texas, and Corpus Christi Branches and their communities in their recovery efforts. We are exploring options for a community service projects that will benefit our Texas Gulf Coast communities including giving all the profits from 2017 CECON to the local support efforts. More details will be available as the event nears.

 

I hope everyone stays safe and I look forward to being part of the recovery effort for this wonderful State of Texas.

 

 

Craig B. Thompson, P.E., M.ASCE

ASCE Texas Section President 2016-2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With regard to CECON 2017, scheduled for September 20–22, we are still on track and I look forward to seeing you at the Embassy Suites San Marcos Hotel, Spa and Conference Center.  The theme this year is aptly titled “Resiliency in Engineering”. I do encourage everyone to come out, attend continuing education seminars, learn about Hurricane Harvey’s impact and the response of our Branches, Section and Global association and participate in fellowship with civil engineers and ASCE members from across the state. 

 

If you have registered but the storm has impacted your ability to participate at CECON 2017, please let us know.


ASCE Texas Section
1524 S. Interstate 35, Suite 180
Austin, Texas 78704
512-472-8905

office@texasce.org
www.texasce.org





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