Alley Theatre damaged by Harvey's floodwaters

By Ryan Korsgard - Reporter

HOUSTON - The Theater District Downtown had looked like the set of an epic disaster.

For several days, eight feet of water surrounded the Alley Theatre.

Much of that water got inside the basement and sump basement. In the Neuhaus Theatre, the water was 10 feet deep.

PHOTOS: Alley Theatre before and after Harvey destruction

"We're kinda transitioning from crisis mode to now we gotta get it done mode. And this is the part that I have trouble because I'm impatient and I'm like come on guys! Let's go faster. It's just slow, methodical, tedious work," General Manager Ten Eyck Swackhammer said.

The Alley had flood insurance, but not enough to cover all of the damage.

FEMA representatives met Tuesday with organizations and municipalities in our area with public facilities damaged or destroyed. Federal help may be available. 

"It's important to get those public assistance dollars down because this has been an overwhelmingly catastrophic event. We've had a significant amount of public damage to public facilities," Francisco Sanchez, of Harris County Homeland Security, said.

Back downtown, cleanup work and structural inspections continued at the Wortham where 12 feet stood inside the basement and an estimated 200 million gallons poured into the parking garage.

Houston First released the following statement:

“On August 27, water from Hurricane Harvey filled the basement of the Wortham with 12 feet of water. In addition, water filled the tunnel that connects the Wortham to the Theater District Parking Garage.

“While the building was powered down before the worst of the storm, initial assessments revealed potentially dangerous conditions and a clear threat to the mechanical and electrical equipment and building contents. To prevent further damage, Houston First immediately retained Gilbane Reconstruction Services to being pumping out the water and stabilizing the building.”

Just across the street, back at the Alley, the performances, for now, will go on at the University of Houston.

The main act there is cleaning up.

"Our hope, and we'll know probably in about two weeks, is to get with the level we're standing on up, open, for 'Christmas Carol' in November," Swackhammer said.

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