ECD moves into temporary offices while major repairs continue on Eldridge Place towers
In these post-Hurricane Harvey days, the sights and sounds of resiliency can be found just about everywhere you turn in the Energy Corridor. Flooded businesses are coming back, major energy companies are repairing extensive damages, and many residents and apartment communities are rebuilding.
But some residents and places the community relied upon remain without homes in the Energy Corridor, as Harvey’s wrath lives on.
It is reassuring to see popular retail and restaurants reopening so quickly after being submerged for days on end, their facilities and equipment destroyed. Places like Sylvia’s Enchilada Kitchen, Presto Cleaners, AT Siam Thai Massage, Ni Hao Chinese Restaurant and Jimmy John's are back in business, returning some sense of normalcy to major Energy Corridor arteries such as Eldridge Parkway and Memorial Drive.
And while flooding severely damaged Eldridge Place, where the Energy Corridor District calls home, the District team has taken up temporary residence on the second floor of Live Oak Apartments, where dozens of families had to be rescued from inundation after nearby reservoir releases filled entire first-floor residences.
From ECD's temporary home at Live Oak Apartments, Clark Martinson meets with Marcella Coronado, apartment manager.
District team members and board members alike have jumped into several regional initiatives that seek significant changes in the way the city, county, state and federal government handle flood detention and mitigation, as well as development. There is Energy Corridor representation on city and county committees, as well as think tanks that are pursuing answers to Houston’s flooding problem.
A stormwater impact study was recently launched by the District’s Board of Directors to gain insight into both current and historical flooding, the way both Barker and Addicks reservoirs are operated, and potential flood mitigation solutions. (For more, see the accompanying story in this newsletter.)
Yet, all is far from normal for some places the community relied upon to seek help, to gather and to worship.
Harvey-related flooding has closed the Kendall Library on Eldridge Parkway, a place many in the community used for meeting space, internet access and information resources.
Inside Emmanuel Episcopal Church and Emmanuel Day School – submerged in four feet of floodwater for nearly three weeks – everything was ruined. Outside, the playground was a total loss. But the church found a temporary home for its services when Rabbi Annie Belford of the reformed synagogue Temple Sinai reached out, offering to share its space on Sunday mornings.
Another church breathed life into Emmanuel’s child development school. Holy Spirit Episcopal School not only opened its doors to the Emmanuel Episcopal Day School while it rebuilds classrooms and the playground, it also loaned the school furniture, supplies and educational material.
BridgePoint Bible Church – a place known for hosting community groups like the Energy Corridor of Houston Orchestra (ECHO) – is dealing with the destruction of its large building and ministry resources.
Still, while rebuilding brings financial challenges, BridgePoint and Emmanuel continue to help church and community members who lost homes to flooding. Donations to both churches not only are being used to help rebuild, they are also helping their members and Energy Corridor neighbors recover. To assist in recovery efforts visit BridgePoint Bible Church here and Emmanuel Episcopal Church here.
For those who need help or want to help others recover, the District’s comprehensive Resource Guide offers sources for government assistance, ways to volunteer or donate money, and answers to transportation challenges.