Hurricane Harvey hit Texas on Friday, August 25 and continues to pound the state with high winds, heavy rains and flooding. Here's a look at the storm along with its business and technology impact at a local and national level.
Notes: Check this blog entry every few hours for continued updates. And visit MSSP Alert for updates involving managed security services providers located in Texas.
Update: Monday, August 28, 8:25 a.m. CDT
- Texas Network Outages: A list of Texas- and Houston-area wireless and wired networks that have suffered outages, according to the FCC. Keep checking the FCC website for more updates.
- Texas Power Outages: This Power Outage Tracker from Data Fusion Solutions pinpoints which counties are experiencing the most power outages. ChannelE2E updates that map, based on Data Fusion's latest feed, several times per day.
- Emergency Shelter: Many AirBnB members are offering free or discounted shelter to Hurricane Harvey evacuees. Also, AirBnB is waiving fees for transactions that involve emergency bookings related to the storm.
Update: Sunday, August 27, 3:25 p.m. CDT
Harvey has already dropped more than two feet of rain on Texas and at least five people are reported dead as a result of the storm, according to The Washington Post.
- the U.S. Coast Guard has dispatched five helicopters; and roughly 40 additional rescue boats are on the way to the area, the Post reported.
- More than 250 Texas highways are closed amid flooding.
Our Earlier Coverage
1. Hurricane Harvey Power Outages: Roughly 300,000 customers were without power as of 5:00 p.m. local time Saturday, according to ERCOT (Electric Reliability Council of Texas).
2. Hurricane Harvey Storm Strength: As of Saturday afternoon, Harvey has been downgraded to a tropical storm, down from a Category 4 hurricane (130 to 156 Mph sustained winds) on Friday. See hurricane category definitions here.
3. Hurricane Harvey Rainfall, Flooding, Damage and Closings: Although most eyes are on Texas, additional areas -- including New Orleans -- are at risk for heavy flooding. Here's a look at some noteworthy regions and cities.
- Texas (overall): Harvey is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 15 to 30 inches and isolated maximum amounts of 40 inches over the middle and upper Texas coast through Wednesday, August 30, according to the National Weather Service.
- Corpus Christi: The city largely avoided major destruction, though a power outage disrupted the city’s wastewater treatment plant, and residents should boil drinking water until further notice, The Washington Post said.
- Houston: The nation's fourth largest city remains at extreme risk for flooding through Wednesday. More than 1,000 Houston0-area people were rescued overnight Saturday (Aug. 26) through Sunday morning (Aug. 27). These schools and government facilities will be closed Monday, Aug. 28.
- San Antonio: Mayor Ron Nirenberg urged residents to continue to stay off the roads as Harvey neared the city and brought wind gusts up to 60 mph and heavy rain, according to The Washington Post. The city is under a flash flood watch and tropical storm warning.
- New Orleans, Louisiana: Five to 10 inches of rain are possible through Wednesday, August 30, according to Weather.com.
4. Hurricane Harvey Tornadoes: Reports of scattered tornadoes surfaced Saturday, Aug. 26.
Business Continuity, Cloud and IT Services
ChannelE2E continues to check in with IT companies as Harvey moves through the region. Updates include:
5. Alert Logic, a cloud security company Houston with more than 4,000 customers around the world, continues to offer a “money-back” guarantee that any service-related outages will be limited to 10 minutes or less per week. Stay tuned for a more extensive Alert Logic update on ChannelE2E's sister site, MSSP Alert.
6. Continuum, which develops automation platforms for MSPs, is headquartered in Boston, Mass., but has a backup and disaster recovery (BDR) business in the Houston area. The company remains in constant contact with the Houston-area team, according to CEO Michael George, and no team members were personally impacted by the initial hurricane. Still, Continuum is watching the situation closely amid the flooding over the next few days. In terms of maintaining service, Continuum's data centers remain operational because they're distributed worldwide. So far, Continuum's partners have not declared any disasters, but the company's NOC (network operations center) and help desk operations remain "vigilant" and on-call to support partners' needs, George says. The NOC and help desk services are no located in the Houston area.
7. Datto, which develops data protection and network connectivity solutions for MSPs, has set up dedicated priority support for partners in the affected area (+1-310-956-1200 or [email protected]) and the company is prioritizing all tickets for the area accordingly, Chief Revenue Officer Brooks Borcherding tells ChannelE2E. Moreover, a Datto business continuity team will establish a base camp in Austin and then assess the situation based on evolving conditions. That team is transporting dozens of new DNA routers with embedded LTE service to help partners address situations where their customers have lost network connectivity. The team also has network switches, routers and SIRIS X4 Business Continuity devices for situations where partners need additional capacity for backup and recovery. Datto also is traveling with a generator to provide a mobile hot-spot for any facilities in need of network access. The company has seen support requests climb since Friday evening and expects the requests to continue to escalate through the weekend. Partners can track updates about the recovery via https://twitter.com/dattosupport.
8. eFolder and Axcient, which recently merged, say support and recovery teams are available 24x7 at 800-715-2339 for Axcient and 800-352-0248 for eFolder. "I do not expect volume to cause unacceptable delays, but if a partner experiences an issue with response times, I am personally on standby as well," CEO Matt Nachtrab told ChannelE2E. Partners can email him directly at [email protected] or call his extension at 720-642-6389 x 716, where he can help escalate to the appropriate eFolder or Axcient resource. In a follow-up note mid-day Saturday, Nachtrab said eFolder and Axcient have note witnessed any major partner or support issues so far.
9. Rackspace says the storm is not expected to impact any of its data centers. However, the managed cloud services provider has implemented a business continuity plan to minimize wait times via phone, tickets and chat. Also, the company is shifting many of its San Antonio-based employees to a work-from-home capacity, keeping them away from potentially dangerous road conditions, Rackspace said in a blog.
11. Also in the Area: Additional technology companies in the region include AMD, AT&T, Continuum's BDR (backup and disaster recovery) team, BMC, Dell, HP Inc. and IBM. Most (though not all) of those companies are located inland -- away from where the storm initially slammed Texas. But potential flooding and power outages remain a concern for each of those companies.
Continued Hurricane Harvey Updates
Check this blog every few hours for Harvey-related updates specifically focused on the IT industry.