After Harvey, one year later: Seeing Harvey as an opportunity

Researchers learn from Hurricane Harvey

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PORT ARANSAS – While Hurricane Harvey left behind a massive amount of destruction, there were also some positive qualities researchers were able to analyze.

One facility saw both aspects of Harvey.

The Marine Science Institute is part of the University of Texas of Austin, but is stationed in Port Aransas. The institute took a direct hit from Harvey and is still undergoing repairs.

The old roof was made of pebbles, which became much like bullets as they were launched at windows during the storm. A pier was snapped in half, labs were flooded, samples were lost and scientific instruments were damaged.

Sally Palmer, who works at the institute, said, "We had one piece of equipment that was over a million dollars and it was one of 25 in the world."

The total estimated cost of damage to the entire campus is about $45 million.

Brad Erisman has been working with the institute for the past four years and is an assistant professor of fisheries ecology.

Erisman thought the lab he worked out of was going to be the most vulnerable since it was built at sea level, but that wasn't the case.


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