Aug. 27, 10:12 pm: ENR's Louise Poirier Checks In From Hurricane-Devastated Houston
Dry for now, surrounded by flooding from Hurricane Harvey
On the evening of Aug. 27, ENR's Houston-based editor Louise Poirier filed a personal account of her local situation and a quick update about industry impacts, included here.
"There’s flooding all around us, but thankfully our street and house is still dry. We’ll be stuck inside for a few more days at least, from the looks of it.
"Both internet and phone services have been pretty spotty around here—hoping that improves tomorrow, but if it doesn’t, there may not be a whole lot I can do from here on reporting.
"I haven’t heard of any major protection failures so far, but I’m not sure I’m hearing all the news right now given the outages. Thankfully power has pretty much stayed on throughout the storm for us, so hoping that continues. One of the local stations actually went off the air completely because their building flooded. Some transformers blew at a neighboring baseball facility near us last night, and it sounded like three or four huge gunshots in the middle of the night. There have also been nonstop tornado warnings since Friday.
"I did catch that the Corps has announced that it's making intermittent releases at Houston’s Addicks and Barker dams today to avoid damage to the dams themselves. These were built back in the 1940s and are designed to reduce flood levels of the Buffalo Bayou, which runs through downtown—if you have seen pictures of the I-45/I-10 interchange near downtown, it’s completely under water, the bayou runs right around there. The Corps is working on two new outlet structures/coffer dams, which cost $75 million—the coffer dams were completed, but the rest of the project is still ongoing to my knowledge.
"Businesses around here are all going to be closed tomorrow for sure, perhaps through most of the week. It took a full week after Ike for anyone to really get back up and running, so we’ll see how it goes. Will check in with anything new as I’m able to connect."