Magazine Article | November 1, 2017

When Harvey Struck Houston, We Stayed Open

Source: Channel Executive Magazine

By Andrew Moore, COO, IronEdge Group

Hurricane Harvey unleashed almost 50 inches of rain, the equivalent to 500 inches of snow, on the Houston metro area. The rain was slow, steady, and nonstop, lasting for almost a week. Most people cannot understand what it is like to experience rain like that for seven days. Water starts to back up into the ditches and culverts. Storm sewers overflow into the streets. Water creeps over the grass and up to the doorstep, then inside, then upstairs. Suddenly, when the water is everywhere, there is no time to make plans.

In June 2001, Tropical Storm Allison sat on top of Houston, TX, for six days. Over 35 inches rained down into the bayous and creeks. Roads were impassable; critical infrastructure located underground was destroyed. Phone systems, servers, and mechanical systems required for businesses to run were under 12 feet of water. It took months to recover. Some companies never came back. But Harvey would push every system to its limit and make Allison look like a pretest.