Over Franklin & Marshall’s spring break, March 10-17, a group of students with the College’s Catastrophic Relief Alliance traveled to the Texas town of Katy, about 30 miles west of Houston to assist with rebuilding after last year’s devastating flooding from Hurricane Harvey.
“For most hurricane projects, we've hung sheetrock,” said Andy Gulati, associate librarian for the sciences and CRA adviser who accompanied the 13 students. “This time, we did the real elbow work of taping, mudding, sanding, mudding, sanding, and even more sanding.”
F&M President Daniel R. Porterfield funded most of this trip, which allowed CRA to make two trips in one year, Gulati said. The group replaced tornado damaged roofs in Oklahoma last January. In Katy, the students also met with two Gulf Coast alumni chapter members, Lisa Brooks '85 and Jess Yoburn '02, who endowed CRA.
The work in the Houston area was indirectly related to the hurricane. During the storm. the Army Corps of Engineers released the Addicks and Barker reservoirs, inundating the Buffalo Bayou downstream and thousands of houses, Gulati said.
“The resultant flooding caused housing values to plummet, forcing many homeowners to walk away from their homes,” Gulati said. “The aim of our host organization, Harvey Housing Recovery Project, and many other fine rebuilding groups, is to keep people in their homes. CRA was happy to do our part."
Here’s a photo essay showing some of their work: