Cleanup continues in Katy

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It's damage assessment and cleanup day in Katy. The city was swamped by 17 inches of water in less than 24 hours between April 17th and 18th, and things still aren't back to normal.

First responders did run on a few high water emergencies, and some roads are still impassible, but it's nothing like Monday. That's when Katy's police and fire departments worked with game wardens and airboats to rescue stranded residents in northern areas of Katy.

"We bussed them down and got them places to go," said Byron Hebert, Katy's City Manager, thanking Katy ISD for providing the bus. "It's family members. It's Katy helping Katy, about 75 people, so it was a pretty remarkable feat."

What hit Katy was 17 inches of rain that poured from the heavens, and 17 inches of rain that flowed in from northern Waller County. All that, in one night, put the event in the category of Katy's 500 year flood.

Some businesses had 3 to 4 feet of water in them, and have a long way to go before reopening.

"There are a lot of people hurting today," said Katy's Mayor Fabol Hughes. "I know the governor has had this declared a disaster area."

Hughes stopped by the popular restaurant, Snappy's, as it was mopping up from the flood. He vowed to work with city commissioners to find a way to get all Katy businesses back open as quickly as possible.

To those who wish Katy were better prepared for an event like this, Hughes says, between a sudden 17 inches of rain, and a very flat landscape, the city has done all it can to this point to prepare.

"We've done a lot of drainage improvements," Hughes said. "Thank God we have done these drainage improvements, or this thing would have been really bad."

It is still really bad in some areas especially right next to Buffalo Bayou. Drone pilots from Skyline Drones were out volunteering their time to provide free damage videos to individuals.

How bad is the damage to the town as a whole? It's too early to know, Hebert says. They still have teams out doing assessments. But whatever it is, it can be repaired, rebuilt or improved.

"This is just a bump in the road. That's it," says Snappy's Co-Owner Alex Tsounakas. "It's like the whole community helps each other and will bounce back all the time."