Go back to main page


Posted on 29 August 2017 by Hubert Colas
Posted in FluksAqua Community, FluksAqua insights, Utility management, Wastewater Management, Water and wastewater community,


The images from Hurricane Harvey can hardly convey the devastating impact this storm has had in Southcentral and Southeast Texas communities. In addition, Louisiana is facing torrential rains. The damage unleashed by this storm will be felt for years but as the rain subsides, communities are already starting to try and rebuild.

Everyone has the same question:  What can we do to help our Texas friends, colleagues and peers facing the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey?

The request for help has come. If anyone has resources, manpower, generators, pumps, or other machines spare, they are encouraged to register at TXWARN. Like other States, WARN organizations are established and supported by local sections of AWWA. TXWARN supports and promotes statewide emergency preparedness, response and recovery information before, during and after an emergency.

Professionals can register and, after being approved, receive regular updates and requests from affected communities. To date, most of the requests are for generators and electricians. Emergency help requests started this Monday but are expected to rise in the next few days and weeks. So if you or your community is able to offer assistance – either supplies or professional skills – TXWARN is a good place to start offering help. Here is the latest bulletin:



(UPDATED 8/29, 1 PM)

As Tropical Storm Harvey continues to create dangerous conditions in Southeast Texas, areas that weathered the effects of Hurricane Harvey are beginning to assess the damage and attempt to restore capabilities. Below are the requests as submitted to TXWARN – please inform TXWARN if you are able to respond:

– Fort Bend MUD 25 needs a pump to dewater for lift station access. Largest available or any size that maybe available. Contact:Tyler Bridges, 832-256-3202

 City of Houston Wastewater Operations needs electricians familiar with the wastewater equipment that can assist in verifying the suitability to energize after it has been flooded. Staged access by multiple individuals working 2-3 days ata time. Direct contact if available: Jason A. Iken, P.E., Senior Assistant Director, Wastewater Operation Branch, Public Works and Engineering, Office: 832-395-4989

 Coleto Water System in Victoria is in need of a generator – 3 phase 7.5hp 230voltsUPDATE (8/29, 12 PM) RWEAC is investigating and will assess.Situation pending. Request remains open. Contact is Logan Campbell –Logan@cogentbms.com

– Aransas Pass, TX, is requesting 23 – 40KW, 240V, 3-Phase generators for lift station operations. Smaller number of units OK. Contact Captain Pierce at 254-284-0270.

– Ingleside, Tx., is requesting up to six 10-15 KW, 240V, 3-Phase generators to service lift stations. Smaller number of units OK. Contact JoAnn Ehmann at 361-790-3663 if your are able to assist. 

– Jefferson County WCID #10 in Nederland, TX is requesting a 6-inch pump.Contact person: Tommy McDonald, District Manager. 409 722-6922 office, 409 540-6684 cell.

– The City of Goliad, TX, utilities are in need of a portable generator to fix immediate issues and maintain operations for the next few days. UPDATE (NOON, 8/28): TXWARN HAS RECEIVED INFORMATION THAT GOLIAD WOULD LIKE THIS REQUEST TO REMAIN OPEN. Generator Request Specifications – One portable generator, 200 kw 480 three phase with 50 foot of cord.  The utility has an electrician with the ability to connect. Contact person: Gary Paredez, 469-628-6066

Please notify TXWARN at info@txwarn.org or at 866-989-9276 if you are able to assist or need additional information. Remember to subscribe to updates in the TXWARN Incident Forum at txwarn.org to remain apprised of developments. HERE is a direct link to the Incident Forum.

Response and recovery activities for the impacts of Hurricane Harvey are underway in some areas. Please exercise caution as Tropical Storm Harvey continues to present dangerous conditions. TXWARN has officially created an incident for Harvey and stands ready to assist utilities with their response to this storm.


Flooding and loss of power severely impacts water systems so Texas is facing the worst-possible scenario.  The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the State will collaborate to assess the impacts on water and wastewater facilities. This rapid assessment enables planning for a quicker recovery of water services after the rain finally passes and flood water begin to recede.

Considering the extent of the current and forecasted storm damage, the recovery in Texas will be long and extensive. We should expect there to be help requests for a considerable length of time since the recovery will most likely exhaust the state and federal resources available. Fortunately, there are many community groups and volunteer organizations that are active during such disasters.

The National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, or National VOAD, is an association of organizations that mitigate and alleviate the impact of disasters, provides a forum promoting cooperation, communication, coordination and collaboration; and fosters more effective delivery of services to communities affected by disaster. It is comprised of member organizations active in disaster zones. It urges potential donors to send cash donations to one of its member organizations instead of goods.

In most disaster situations, goods do not support the immediate needs of survivors and can often go to waste even if they are donated  with the best of intentions. As well, organizations have to catalog and store unsolicited donations which takes valuable time and resources away from working on the most urgent needs.

We also invite you to share your thoughts and ideas via our FluksAqua water forum by either joining in an emerging discussion at Wondering-how-help-texas-and-louisiana-face-the-harvey-floods, or starting your own conversation. We would also encourage you to share the links and information with your fellow peers who you think may be able to provide help for our colleaguess. Our thoughts are with Texas and Louisiana and we wish them good luck in the coming days and weeks.


About the author

Hubert Colas, Eng., Ph.D., is a senior executive at FluksAqua with more than 25 years of experience in consulting engineering and technology development.
In previous functions, Mr. Colas spearheaded a world-class leader in the design and operation of real time control of urban drainage systems. Hubert Colas implemented complex solutions to manage wet weather in real time and provided services and solutions to water and wastewater utilities.