As reports trickled in of sinking streets, collapsed bridges, flooded refineries and overtopped dams, engineers, contractors and government officials remained focused on saving lives during the continuing disaster of Harvey in Texas before assessing the damage of the storm and subsequent flooding.

“What is happening in Houston is a life-changing event for our entire community,” said Carol Ellinger Haddock, the city’s acting director of public works and a board member of the American Society of Civil Engineers told ENR at press time on Aug. 29. “Seventy-two hours in and we are still actively rescuing people stranded on roofs and in homes with water. Recovery will take years.”

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