Houston COA Recovers After Hurricane Harvey

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After Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Southeast Texas in 2017, scores of communities faced widespread damage and a long road to recovery.

  • The category 4 storm was one of the most catastrophic natural disasters to hit the Gulf Coast, inflicting an around $125 million in damages statewide.
  • Harvey displaced over than 30,000 people and prompted more than 17,000 rescues, including a luxury, high-rise condominium in Houston managed by FirstService Residential.
  • The main bayou, which runs through downtown Houston, flooded the basement and parking garage of the 100-year-old building.

After the storm, the real recovery began. The high-rise was evacuated due to flooding in the basement and parking garage.

  • Due to the statewide impact, rescue and restoration services were limited. However, within two days, Senior Director of High-Rise, Dan Westman, visited the building.
  • The abandoned condominium had no electricity or water and was littered with debris.
  • The insurance claims process was time-consuming, so they secured an interim loan for immediate repairs.

“The relationship FirstService Residential had with our contractors gave us an edge
and helped us get the resources we needed quickly." 

-Dan Westman
Senior Director of High-Rise, Houston

Dan Westman was the main point of contact for all vendors, lenders and board members throughout the contract and recovery process until the building was habitable.

  • FirstService Residential leveraged their relationships with vendors to get an immediate response and begin the recovery process.
  • Because of the insurance delays, the board secured a temporary emergency loan of $1.9 million through FirstService Financial with competitive interest rates.
  • The cleanup took several weeks, and it took several more weeks to restore power.
  • Due to damage, vendors had to rewire the building. Residents were eventually able to return home in less than two months. 

“Dan was awesome. He jumped in and did whatever it took.
He was on top of the process. He took ownership of everything, rolled up his sleeves and really helped. Tammy, our general manager, was outstanding. She was hands-on, knowledgeable and responsive.

Jennifer T. 
COA Board Member