Bayou City

Houston's New Harvey by the Numbers Site Tracks Cleanup Progress

The amount of debris collected from Hurricane Harvey in Houston — more than 900,000 cubic yards — could fill 278 Olympic-size swimming pools or 6,816 buses.

That is just a sampling of data included in Houston’s Harvey by the Numbers website, an online map that tracks Harvey damage, debris removal and 311 calls, all by volume and location, along with other useful info. The city launched the site late last week after creating it with Jeff Reichman, the founder of Sketch City, a nonprofit civic technology organization.

"This is our latest effort to keep the public informed about what the city has done, is doing and will do as Houston bounces back," Mayor Sylvester Turner said in a statement. "We are all in this together."

The website provides context about Harvey’s impact on Houston, tallying the types of homes and buildings damaged during the storm using a “heat map,” which tracks damage by color.

The most prescient piece of information for homeowners still dealing with debris, though, is the page that tracks where trash from Harvey has been removed and how many trucks are working in each section of the city at any time.

For instance, on Monday, the map showed about eight zones throughout the city where more than 25,000 cubic yards of debris had been cleared, with 32 trucks, the highest concentration in the city, working in an area surrounding Westbury Park in southwest Houston. The city deployed 368 trucks on Monday.

Like Houston's official website, as well as the page for 311, the Harvey by the Numbers site also has an option to report debris or submit an online request for debris pickup

Other notable tidbits from the site: Houston averaged 51.66 inches of rainfall during Harvey, 911 calls peaked at more than 8,500 in the days after the storm landed and – perhaps the most uplifting data point – more than 256,845 hours have been logged by volunteers in Harvey relief.
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Joseph Fanelli is a reporting fellow at the Houston Press with an interest in education, crime and eccentric people everywhere.