Torchy’s Tacos Kingwood to bring back Harvey floodwater marker despite criticism

KINGWOOD, Texas – Torchy's Tacos in Kingwood said Thursday in a statement that it is planning to bring back a floodwater line marker the restaurant recently removed due to criticism.

The Kingwood Drive businesses was one of many that flooded when Hurricane Harvey hit last August. The taco restaurant rebuilt and reopened its doors in December 2017. On display on one of the walls was a water level marker showing the 7 feet the water rose during the historic flood.

Julie Rittenhouse remembers the flood. She's still not able to live at home due to renovations underway.

"Our street was totally flooded, it was like rapids going down our streets," she said.

Rittenhouse is a Torchy's customer who was disappointed to see the water marker come down. Rittenhouse said it was a symbol of resilience, which showed just how far the community has come post-Harvey.

Dozens of community members voiced their unhappiness with the company removing the marker on social media. That prompted Torchy's to reconsider their initial decision.

In a statement, the Austin-based restaurant chain said they removed the marker after receiving complaints:

"All of us at Torchy's Tacos have nothing but the highest regards for our guests. Our guests are our lifeline and we always value their feedback. Several members of the Kingwood community strongly voiced their distaste for the Flood Line Marker we displayed after reopening in Kingwood this past December. It is never our intention to offend anyone or imply a negative connotation to the culture of Torchy's Tacos. After receiving this initial feedback, we chose to remove the Flood Line Marker. Upon the removal, we received both positive and negative feedback from several members of the community. Taking all of this into account, we decided to stand by our symbol which is dedicated to everyone who showed that the passion and perseverance of Kingwood is truly unmatched. The significance of our shared history is not lost on us, and the Flood Line Marker will be back and proudly displayed in the near future."

There is no word on when the marker will return.