Geotechnical Effects of Hurricane Harvey in the Houston, Beaumont, and Port Arthur Areas

R. Lee Wooten, Stacey Kulesza, Chadi El Mohtar, Brian Diaz, Olusola Ilupeju, Marcus Rasulo, Patrick Bassal, Ahmed Hussien, Behdad Mofarraj Kouchaki, Michael V. Little, Ahmet A. Mert, Christopher W. Nelsen

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The Geotechnical Extreme Events Reconnaissance (GEER) Association  deployed multiple teams of engineers from academia and practicing firms to the coast of Texas in late August and early September 2017 following Hurricane Harvey.  This report summarizes the observations and data from the GEER team that focused primarily on the inland effects of Hurricane Harvey in the Houston area with some observations in the Port Arthur / Beaumont area east of Houston. Rain, not storm surge or wind, caused the observed damage in Houston, Beaumont, and Port Arthur by overwhelming stormwater management facilities and creating high flows and flooding in and near area waterways.  The major Houston-area flood structures, Addicks and Barker Dams, performed well from a geotechnical perspective.  Observed damages included shallow slides along levees, severe erosion along riverways, isolated road and culvert erosion and uplift, and area-wide flood effects in low and poorly drained neighborhoods.


hurricane, flood, erosion, dam, levee, highway, residential


Wooten, R. L., Kulesza, S., El Mohtar, C., Diaz, B., Ilupeju, O., Rasulo, M., Bassal, P., Hussien, A., Kouchaki, B. M., Little, M. V., Mert, A. A., Nelsen, C. W. (2020). Geotechnical Effects of Hurricane Harvey in the Houston, Beaumont, and Port Arthur Areas, Vol. 5, Issue 4, p.77-105. doi: 10.4417/IJGCH-05-04-05


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