Hurricane Harvey Efforts in Rowlett, TX
Gary Enna

The City of Rowlett, TX is located 20 miles east of Dallas, TX. Rowlett was devastated by an EF-4 tornado on December 26, 2015. The path of destruction was over 3.5 miles long and a half mile wide debris field that damaged over 1,100 structures. Therefore, Rowlett Public Works is no stranger when it comes to emergency response and having to request assistance in times of need. Rowlett Public Works is forever grateful for all the assistance we received from our Public Works colleagues after such a devastating event and the crews were eager to assist people affected by Harvey. It was time for Rowlett, TX to give back!

Rowlett Public Works sent crews to the areas hit by hurricane Harvey in Southeast Texas and they worked tirelessly to help in that devastated area.  Crews worked for over a week in Orange, TX and Port Arthur, TX. The Water and Waste Water Division assisted with restoring utilities in the areas affected by hurricane Harvey. In addition to the four volunteers, Rowlett also sent a vac-truck, dump truck trailering a backhoe, and a service truck.

The first assignment consisted of clearing the sanitary sewer system at the Deweyville High School in Orange, TX. The high school is a First Responders Shelter and they were very happy to see us! Once the high school sanitary sewer system was restored, the group headed to Port Arthur, TX. The City of Port Arthur requested assistance to restore the water and sanitary sewer system and assist with work orders as residents returned to their homes.

These crews volunteered over 280 hours and traveled 800 miles, sleeping at Deweyville HS and a Port Arthur water facility. They had to be prepared to be totally self-sufficient so proper planning was imperative.

In addition to providing assistance from the Public Works Department, the City of Rowlett’s Assistant Emergency Management Coordinator supported PWRT in TEMAT deployments and resource management and served in the State Operations Center (SOC) for a few days.

 Gary Enna, Assistant Director of Public Works