How Austin is helping Hurricane Harvey-ravaged Texas cities through interlocal agreements

Austin City Council executed three interlocal agreements with Houston, Victoria, and Rockport this week to assist in Hurricane Harvey recovery.

Austin City Council executed three interlocal agreements with Houston, Victoria, and Rockport this week to assist in Hurricane Harvey recovery.

Austin continued its efforts toward Hurricane Harvey relief this week as City Council approved three interlocal agreements with the cities of Houston, Victoria and Rockport.

The three coastal cities were among the several that Hurricane Harvey ripped through two weeks ago. Through the three interlocal agreements approved by Austin City Council, the city will assist with public safety, transportation, and water and wastewater infrastructure.

Houston


On Tuesday, the present City Council members unanimously approved the execution of an interlocal agreement with the city of Houston to send 50 police officers and supervisors to help with ongoing public safety in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.

Victoria


Also on Tuesday, City Council approved the execution of a new interlocal agreement with the city of Victoria to send 23 full-time employees to assist in restoration transportation infrastructure. The transportation team returned to Austin on Thursday.

Rob Spillar, director of the city’s transportation department, said the request for services by Victoria was “unique.” Of the city’s 88 traffic signals only two were in operation, according to Spillar.

“If a signal was hanging from a pole it looked like it was hit like piñata with a baseball bat,” Spillar said. “There was just not much left of their system.”

Along with the restoration of the city’s traffic lights, Austin’s transportation department helped install 122 stop signs throughout Victoria.

“I think this is amazing; I hadn’t considered this would be one of the needs our city would have to step up and fulfill,” District 6 Council Member Jimmy Flannigan said. “I’m sure other cities needing aid in the future can expect a swift approval from this council.”

Rockport


On Thursday, City Council unanimously approved the execution of an interlocal agreement with the city of Rockport to help repair water and wastewater infrastructure.

The city sent Austin Water employees to assist in the restoration. As of Friday, the team of Austin employees was still down in Rockport, according to city spokesperson Bryce Bencivengo.


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