Share Harris County Flood Control DistrictMore than 140,000 cubic yards (roughly 40,000 tons) have been removed since the clean-up effort began.The Harris County Flood Control District (HCFCD) said Friday it has completed a county-wide effort to remove downed trees and other storm debris that blocked the bayou drainage system since Hurricane Harvey hit Texas more than a year ago.More than 140,000 cubic yards (roughly 40,000 tons) have been removed since the clean-up effort began shortly after the storm at an estimated cost of $8.9 million so far.In recent months, crews have removed more than 25,000 cubic yards (7,042 tons or 642 truckloads) of debris from Buffalo Bayou, and 14,000 cubic yards (3,978 tons or 327 truckloads) from Cypress Creek.Removing debris from within the county’s 22 watersheds was a priority because downed trees and other storm debris can impede storm water flow and increase erosion, especially along natural forested channels.Debris has included refrigerators and other large objects washed into the channel, as well as six automobiles.The Flood Control District is working to secure funding for its disaster-related storm debris removal efforts from FEMA. Approximately $2.5 million have been received so far in disaster aid for channel debris removal.Residents are encouraged to report bayou and creek debris to the Flood Control District’s Citizen Service Center at this website or by calling (713) 684-4197.
Pilgrim Imports Inc. Neighborhood: Historic Third Ward Founded: 1986 Owner: Martin Huennekens Product: Fair trade metal items Employees: 6What happens at your office?Martin Huennekens: “We’re not a store; we supply businesses with products. We warehouse and office and design ship from here. The products are handmade fair trade metal gifts from Thailand. We do a lot of ornaments. We do a lot of needle nannies. We do a lot of cute gifts and tchotchkes, decorative gift items.”How did you get your start? “I got into it while doing a year of college in Thailand. I met people who have incredible skills to make wonderful items and I sell as many of them as I can so they can have as much work as possible.”Who are your customers?“Fair trade stores, art galleries, museums, organizations that have fundraisers, sea mammal rescues, alpaca farms; gift shops in touristy places, from Cedarburg to the North Pole. All the places you would think of and some that you wouldn’t think of.”Has the popularity of fair trade affected your business?“It’s been a bit irrelevant. I’m glad more people are aware and care about it. (But) we make stuff of such amazing quality and such unique design, that it sells by itself. When you find out it’s fair trade, it gives one more plus. We have a very unique set of skills based on traditional, hand-craft skills that have been kept alive that families have passed on that it continues.”What’s up with the flower mural on your building?“When we bought it, it was a plain, rectangular, cinderblock building. And I thought, ‘I have to come here every day,’ so I hired a muralist and got an entire wraparound mural. I just wanted it to be a beautiful place where, when I have to come to it, I like looking at it.” Get our email updatesBizTimes DailyManufacturing WeeklyNonprofit WeeklyReal Estate WeeklySaturday Top 10Wisconsin Morning Headlines Subscribe