Hurricane Rita – 10 Years Later
Like many of you, we lived through Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita, but we also worked to help Building Owners and Contractors in the aftermath of both storms. Most of our work was mold related, but we did a fair amount of asbestos work as a result of Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita. Our work ranged from Pascagoula, Mississippi, all the way to southwest Louisiana. We worked in hotels, schools, libraries, airports, casinos, offices – you name it.
Like Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Rita was also a very powerful storm. Southwest Louisiana and southeast Texas were blasted by this storm. I was there soon after the storm passed, and the storm’s effects were chilling. Huge trees down – not just snapped, but twisted and snapped as if by a giant. Not too many people talk about Hurricane Rita since Hurricane Katrina cast such a large shadow over much of all else that happened in the months that followed. Make no mistake though, Hurricane Rita was devastating.
We spent a lot of time in the Lake Charles and New Orleans areas after the two storms.
We’ve worked in and around Lake Charles for over 27 years. I’m not a local, but I think I’ve earned honorary local status. I love working there, but those circumstances were trying for everyone. In my opinion, the region showed considerable strength in the storm response and rebuilding. There was a lot of asbestos, lead, mold, and hazardous materials to work around in trying to help recover.
The schools were pretty hard hit. The schools we work with were proactive in their approach before the storm even hit, but in the aftermath, they kicked it into gear. They got the schools dried out, damage remediated, and conducted assessments to make sure the schools were ready to reopen. Pretty impressive, given the millions of square feet of building space, variation in facility size and age, and distance the planning/construction and maintenance personnel had to cover. What was particularly heartbreaking was my prior experience in these schools – some of them are where I first worked on company projects way back in 1988. So it was good to return to familiar places and also good to help improve the situation.
We also worked at the Lake Charles Regional Airport. It was especially hard hit – but the airport administration acted quickly to get temporary facilities going to continue travel, recognizing the importance of getting air traffic into and out of the region. This was also heartbreaking. In the mid 1990’s we did a fair amount of work at the airport, and I have fond memories of those times also.
Remember, we’re about to enter the time of year where we’re most likely to experience tropical storms and hurricanes. So at the very least I hope these topics help you prepare for the coming storm season (and I hope we avoid damaging storms).
Until the next installment, if you need help:
What are your Hurricane Rita stories? Please send me your comments, and I’ll include your responses in a future post. And if I can help with anything, give me a call (225-761-9141 extension 22) or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stay dry, and stay safe, my friends.