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In February 2018, the City of Bryan Public Works Department received the In-House Project of the Year Award from the American Public Works Association (APWA) Texas Chapter for their 2016 Tornado Cleanup efforts. This award recognizes projects performed by Texas Public Works personnel in the category of Disaster or Emergency Construction/Repair.
On May 26, 2016, during the late afternoon, an F1 tornado struck the City of Bryan. As the tornado touched down over a 1.9-mile area on the east side of our community, it brought winds over 100 mph and 6 inches of rain. In a matter of minutes, the tornado ripped through the neighborhoods of Wheeler Ridge, Tiffany Park, and Miramont damaging over 150 homes with at least 5 deemed a complete loss.
The Public Works staff, which consists of water, wastewater, streets & drainage, traffic, and solid waste crews, arrived the following morning to initiate debris clean-up and help restore a sense of normalcy for residents. Although these types of events rarely occur, staff worked quickly to coordinate services among one another to remove the debris as quickly as possible. Without question, the Public Works Department’s main goal was to assist residents as much as possible during their time of need.
In the weeks after, cleanup continued and by June 25th all storm related material had been collected. From May 27 to June 25, 2016, more than 40 employees assisted in the cleanup efforts while utilizing over 25 pieces of equipment and maintaining regular service routes. The success of the Public Works Department was not possible without assistance from other agencies and City departments including Bryan Fire and Police, Bryan Texas Utilities, American Red Cross, Salvation Army, the City of College Station, and the Brazos County Sheriff’s Office. In addition, Twin Oaks Landfill owned and operated by Brazos Valley Solid Waste Management Agency (BVSWMA) offered extended hours so that we had a place to dispose of the debris. In all, the City collected over 460 loads and 1,100 tons of storm related debris.