Just two blocks from the Bayou, Alley Theatre, an award-winning indoor theatre in downtown, was still digging out from eight feet of water that ruined its basement stage, Neuhaus Theatre The smaller of Alley's two stages, Neuhaus seats 310 and features a variety of plays and musicals, such as Broadway hit "Hand to God" and David Sedaris' "The Santaland Diaries."
Water — or more accurately, a black mixture of chemicals, sewage and water — has been pumped out, having left about $15 million of damage. But also destroyed in the basement are five dressing rooms and most of its 100,000 props that were collected over 70 years, says Dean Gladden, managing director of Alley Theatre.
"I was thinking how the hell am I going to get the water out of here," Gladden said recounting his first time seeing the damage in person. He was stuck at home with his block flooded and saw the theater damage at first on a Facebook post by colleagues. "(When I saw it on Facebook), I said 'oh, we may have serious problems.'… I couldn't get out. My entire street was flooded."
When he finally visited the damaged stage in person the next day, he knew he had to scramble for remediation companies to dry it out, examine air quality and remove mold. But remediation providers were heavily in demand, and he found one through his office building's property manager. "It was my first call," he said.
Two blocks northeast, Houston Ballet was dealing with its own remediation problems. Two of its dance studios were submerged with three inches of water. And three different crews weaved through the facility to remove sheet rock and the thick flooring made especially for jumping dancers, as well as replacing costly water pumps and electrical systems.
About seven miles south of the ballet company, crews at MD Anderson Anderson Cancer Center, whose main lobby was drenched, deployed dehumidifiers throughout its campus, removed wet drywall and are using infrared cameras to identify unseen wet spots, says Matt Berkheiser, its executive director of environmental health and safety.
Meanwhile, some big store operators returned to piles of wet merchandise. A Target store in Humble, Texas, located 19 miles north of downtown, is still closed after it was submerged in six and a half feet of water. Another Target store in South Houston, which had a half foot of water, also remains closed.
The retail giant is in the midst of dumping equipment and damaged merchandise to salvage companies. "If (merchandise) is not up to 100 percent of our standards, we will not sell (it)," says John Sheehan, senior group vice president of stores in the Houston area for Target.