On May 24, 2015, Southern and Central Texas experienced numerous large thunderstorms, which increased precipitation over an already saturated area, causing widespread flooding and infrastructural damage. At one point, 11” of rain fell in a 24hr period, leading to massive flash flooding. In Hays County, Texas, the Blanco and San Marcos Rivers were quickly overwhelmed and flooded populated areas. There were 13 fatalities, 106 structures destroyed, 49 structures majorly damaged, and 78 structures with minor damage.
Team Rubicon deployed a team of 193 volunteers from 41 states to Wimberly, TX, to provide volunteer management, sawyer, muck‐out, damage assessment, and debris management services to affected communities in coordination with local and state authorities. All told, the team committed 14,916 volunteer hours, completed 150 work orders and 268 damage assessments, and delivered an estimated $410,000 in value to the community of Wimberly.
Meanwhile, NECHAMA responded in Central Texas, where an estimated 1,500 families were affected and in Houston where the estimated number of of flood affected homes exceeded 2,000. For a one-month period during the immediate aftermath of the Memorial Day floods in Texas, NECHAMA provided both volunteer management services and direct cleanup assistance, mucking, gutting, and removing debris from flood damaged homes, with the intention of both salvaging personal items for homeowners and minimizing their exposure to additional financial and health risks. In total, NECHAMA staff trained and supervised 176 volunteers who contributed 2,600 hours of completely free flood cleanup assistance in Wimberly and Houston, TX and directly helping 17 families impacted by the floods.
Flights donated by Alaska Airlines, JetBlue Airways, and the United Charity Miles program made the magnitude of these missions possible, allowing more staff members to oversee these projects and more volunteers to respond quickly and effectively in this time-sensitive disaster.