Half a year out from Hurricane Harvey, and we continue to look back at its impact, especially the extent to which communities outside of Houston pitched in to help during the city’s dire time of need.
In that sentiment, Houston officials declared Friday, Feb. 9, ‘City of San Antonio Day’ as a gesture of gratitude to the sanitation workers who traveled from San Antonio to help clean up the monumental amount of refuse after the hurricane.
The San Antonio workers spent 30 days in Houston clearing 20,000 tons of storm debris — the equivalent of 50 football fields packed ten feet high with trash each, according to KHOU.
“We are so indebted to these gentlemen, what they were doing each and every day, with a smile on their face, helping our neighbors who were sitting with their life sitting on their front lawn with ten foot piles of debris and all they wanted was a sense of normalcy,” said Houston City Council member Dave Martin.
“This is just a small token, I would’ve crawled here to honor the city and to honor the solid waste department for what they did,” said Martin in San Antonio.
Jesse Sanchez, an 18-year veteran of the San Antonio Sanitation Department, described the emotional toll of their work during Harvey.
“It’s hard because you have people who are retired and they’re 70, 80-year-old people and they lost all their livelihood and they come and cry on your shoulder,” Sanchez said in an interview with KHOU.
Earlier reports from RARE show San Antonio citizens were quick to use their talents and skills to uplift Houston. In September, we spotlighted the handiwork of coupon-cutting guru Kimberly Gager. In the wake of Harvey, Gager donated her surplus supplies stored up from years of couponing.
Gager estimated her efforts helped at least 30 different groups of people or families who she welcomed to stop by her home to pick up goods after hearing of her generosity by word of mouth or on Facebook.