HCSS President and CFO Steve McGough was in Washington, DC, on May 15 to accept the company’s second-place trophy in the 2018 American Road & Transportation Builder’s Association (ARTBA) Transportation Development Foundation’s “Helping Hands Awards.”
The annual awards “recognize extraordinary programs—outside the scope of normal business operations—that demonstrably benefit and help improve the quality of life in the community where the company is based or conducts business,” the organization said.
HCSS was recognized for its recovery efforts following Hurricane Harvey, which devastated much of Southeast Texas in August 2017.
“Words cannot express how grateful we are to our friends, families, and customers who supported our employees through this historic flooding,” McGough said. “That support allowed HCSS employees to significantly impact the local clean-up efforts in our community.”
Terracon Consultants, Inc., of Olathe, Kansas, won first place for its civic contributions.
HCSS Cleaned 250 Homes, Raised $138K After Harvey
In August 2017, a large, slow-moving hurricane made landfall southwest of Houston. Hurricane Harvey became a Category 4 storm in just 40 hours, landing near Rockport and Fulton, bringing with it wind gusts of more than 130 miles per hour.
HCSS, a construction software company, was spared from flooding. However, 25 company employees in the Fort Bend County community were not so lucky. More than 200,000 residents were impacted, with 6,824 homes damaged in the county. Approximately 20 percent of the county’s land area was impacted by flood water, necessitating nearly 10,000 emergency rescues and resulting in three deaths. Homes across the county took on multiple inches of floodwater, ruining all possessions inside. Unlike most storms, which make landfall and quickly move inland and away from the coast, Harvey stalled over the Gulf Coast for several days, producing catastrophic and deadly flash flooding. Cedar Bayou in Houston recorded a new North American record of 51.88 inches of rainfall in less than 48 hours, and more than one-third of Houston was underwater. Nearly 40,000 people were forced out of their homes and into shelters. All told, the storm damaged 203,000 homes, destroyed 12,700, caused more than $125 billion in damage and had affected 13 million people from Texas through Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Kentucky as moved its way through to the eastern U.S. The storm also claimed 88 lives.
HCSS continued normal business operations as much as possible during the storm, with many employees working from home in order to continue meeting the “24/7” customer service needs of customers from around the country. But several employees had in mind to do much more than just proceed as normal.
HCSS coordinated cleanup efforts in the community, spending $27,000 on supplies. It also provided a staging area for those supplies and others donated by customers, coordinated 1,200 volunteers who donated 20,000 hours to clean up 250 homes, and housed Christian Aid Ministries workers who came to Texas to help with cleanup. Employees and customers also raised nearly $150,000 via a “Go Fund Me” campaign to help other employees impacted by the storm.
Established in 1985, the ARTBA Foundation is a nonprofit designed to “promote research, education and public awareness” about the impacts of transportation investment.