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Hurricane Hell


Hurricane Harvey hit the Houston area hard. Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas called the storm “one of the largest disasters America has ever faced,” and said the region would not recover anytime soon.

Richard S. Szecsy, president of the Texas Aggregates and Concrete Association, spoke to Rock Products, and said the Houston area will be rebuilding for years.

Hurricane Irma devastated Florida right after that. The storm ravaged homes and businesses, knocked out millions of customers’ electricity, tore down trees and flooded streets.

As Irma stormed toward Florida and residents made the choice between staying or evacuating, I was struck by several things.

The first was sand bags. Residents bought out the local supply and even filled bags from the beaches to hold back water from entering their homes. That was our product they were relying on.

The second was roads. Cars lined up bumper to bumper on the interstates trying to head north. I bet those people caught for hours and hours worried about if they had enough gas were thanking their lucky stars for good roads, and cursing the fact that there was not enough lanes of traffic to keep them moving.

The rebuilding that will be required in both Houston and the state of Florida will require construction materials, and lots of it. Houses will have to be fixed, new homes built; roads and bridges will have to be patched, and in some cases totally rebuilt.

These storms sent the entire country the message that when infrastructure fails, it has to be rebuilt. It is easy to see that when it happens all at once. But most of the time it happens gradually, and degradation is not as obvious.

Rebuilding Florida and Texas is going to take a lot of time, money and construction materials. Rebuilding America is going to take a massive effort as well.

We need everyone to see the connection.