"Director David McCary and our solid waste crews are exemplary. Their work to help our Houston neighbors get back on their feet is another reason we are proud and justified in calling San Antonio a compassionate city."
Hurricane Harvey's Waste Management Unsung San Antonio Heroes
San Antonio, TX - The City of San Antonio provided valuable services to the City of Houston under a mutual aide agreement at the conclusion of Hurricane Harvey. This agreement was activated by the Mayors to help the city of Houston and it's smaller communities during the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.
The city's Solid Waste Management Department has estimated 60 employees which half were deployed to the Houston area to help clean up the community neighborhoods. Most tax payers of the City of San Antonio were probably unaware the city supported our neighboring cities in this way. The city of SanAntonio was the first to arrive to Houston to lend a helping hand. They took 60 pieces of large equipment to get the job done. The equipment included tractors, trailers, fuel trucks, and lifts.
"Many of the homes were devastated in the Kingwood, Houston area we had to service. In total this community had 72,000 homes impacted. Our crews spent 14-16 hours a day to help people with the healing process" said Andrew Gutierrez, District Manager City of San Antonio Solid Waste Department.
The city was rained on in a mighty way. Over 52 inches of rain ravished homes, schools, businesses and religious places of worship without permission.
David McCary, the Director of the Solid Waste Management Dept said, "Our working men and women made me proud and our city proud. They stacked debris in an area equivalent to 50 football fields stacked 10 feet tall. This would be about 1,600 loads or 20,366 tons. This is truly an incredible effort between September 3rd and October 3rd."
"We appreciate what the community of Kingwood-Houston, did for our people working long days. It was reported by a number of the crews that the people, even though upset, would come out with water or drinks or food to help us replenish our strength. The act of kindness, despite their reality, really showed who we are as caring people" commented Marketing Manager Marcus Lee.
Mayor Nirenberg added his great appreciation for the excellence displayed by his staff. He said, ""Director David McCary and our solid waste crews are exemplary. Their work to help our Houston neighbors get back on their feet is another reason we are proud and justified in calling San Antonio a compassionate city."
McCary adds, "the personnel who stayed behind in San Antonio are also very important to be recognized as they pulled overtime and rallied together to keep San Antonio's mission going despite being short handed. They too are heroic".
One employee said, "You couldn't picture the magnitude until you are there."
Let's keep our thoughts and prayers for the people still rebuilding after such a storm and all across the world.