Waiting Not an Option

by Della Adame, CCAD Public Affairs

CCAD Bldg 8

CCAD leadership meets at the Emergency Operations Center on August 28, 2017 during Hurricane Harvey recovery. Photo by Kiana Allen (RELEASED)

CORPUS CHRISTI, TX (August 28, 2017) -- He packed a punch and his name will remain on the lips of Coastal Bend residents for generations, just like Celia and Beulah. He is the hurricane named Harvey, that arrived as a Category 4 hurricane at the end of the summer of 2017. Harvey will be referred to with a reverence to his strength and to the strength of Texans, a strength that pulled an entire nation together.

Parts of our area are returning to normal, albeit slowly, but our waterfront coastal communities are still a disaster. While power has been restored to 186,200 customers throughout the Coastal Bend area, according AEP Texas, several of our Corpus Christi Army Depot (CCAD) employees are in their homes but with no electricity. Some of the small communities that dot the area are without water and sewage services. Residents are facing dusk to dawn curfews that prohibit them from remaining in their homes after a long day of cleaning, debris removal, and repair work.

Now, the waiting begins. Some are waiting for the insurance adjusters, others for the city utility reconnections, and some are waiting for normalcy to return to their daily lives.
But waiting was never an option for CCAD leadership.

The storm had not even completely moved through our area, when the CCAD leadership team quickly reacted to the severity of the storm and anticipated the needs of potential displaced CCAD employees whose homes were in the direct paths of the destructive eye walls of the storm.

CCAD Commander COL Allan H. Lanceta immediately focused on the needs of his workforce, many of whom selflessly took the time to prepare the depot for the fury of the impending storm before leaving to prepare their own homes and possibly evacuating their families to safety.

While the Monday after the storm was a day of recovery efforts at the Depot, by Tuesday, at the direct behest of the colonel, Mr. Dennis Campbell, Employee Assistance Program Director, began to check on people directly.

Early on, fifteen individuals were identified that needed immediate assistance due to significant property damage. Mr. Campbell was on the phone with victims conveying the colonel's concern and assuring them everything possible was being done to help them. Campbell reassured displaced employees by letting them know they were not alone, and there were several others who were going through the very same thing.

Colonel Lanceta coordinated with Naval Air Station Corpus Christi Commander Captain Phillip Brock, who directed his Executive Officer to assist the displaced employees by offering temporary housing on base or at the Navy's Lodging facility aboard the installation. There are still a number of displaced CCAD employees staying with friends or family in the immediate Corpus Christi area.

A number of CCAD employees sustained serious damage to their homes, some who initially evacuated from their neighborhoods, still have not been able to return to assess the damages. Some have lost every material thing they owned - house, car, clothes, furniture, family photos and heirlooms - everything, including the roofs over their heads.

Although the recovery and cleanup continues on the installation, the safety, support, assistance and well-being of all CCAD employees is foremost in the actions of the Depot. Leadership is committed to helping employees recover fully from this ordeal.

The CCAD community is equally committed to helping their own. Those CCAD employees who escaped serious damage from Harvey are housing displaced friends and family, helping with cleanup and repair, and volunteering in their churches and shelters. People who evacuated their homes with only the basics are now in need of everything. The support from complete strangers from all over the state and entire nation has been overwhelming.

Locally, CCAD employees are heavily engaged in the support and recovery of our community by donating and collecting food, clothes, water, toiletries, disposable diapers, blankets, sheets, and children's items for delivery to areas shelters and donation locations.

Harvey is a reminder of the courageous volunteerism and spirit of selfless giving from our neighboring cities, counties and states. Volunteers rose to the occasion, at their own risk and expense, and that debt can never be adequately repaid.

Across our coastal area, as soon as the storm passed and the authorities gave the word, our neighbors were removing debris, cutting down trees, cooking a hot meal, and sharing a kind hug, a smile, holding a shaking hand and generously spreading hope with every bottle of water.

Employees in need of assistance may visit the CCAD website www.ccad.army.mil. It has been updated to include links to various resources, both materiel and monetary donation sites and information useful to Veterans.

 

Designated a Center of Industrial and Technical Excellence for rotary wing aircraft, Corpus Christi Army Depot ensures aviation readiness through overhaul, repair, modification, retrofit, testing, recapitalization, and modernization of helicopters, engines and components. This effort includes world-wide on-site field maintenance teams, analytical crash investigations and chemical material process facilities. CCAD serves as a depot training base for active duty Army, National Guard, and reserve units. CCAD, as South Texas' largest industrial employer, employs more than 5500 personnel and contractors providing an overall economic impact of more than $1.14 Billon to the local community.