Recovering a property after Hurricane Harvey

November 15, 2019 -  By

Location Sugar Land, Texas
Company Lawn Management Co.

In 2017, when Hurricane Harvey hit Texas, the Sugar Creek on the Lake office complex received severe rain. “We had a year’s worth of rain in three days,” says Adam Purnell, branch manager at Lawn Management Co. (LMC).

The property was underwater for six days, he says. Due to flooding, the building closed for several months. LMC, a Houston-based commercial landscape maintenance firm, has maintained the Sugar Creek property for about six years.

Flooding and runoff damaged the property’s soil and plant material, while equipment used during recovery efforts compacted the soil. Aeration, composting, topdressing and the addition of organic matter revitalized the damaged soil.

A foreman and three crew members maintain the property on a weekly basis. The crew uses propane-powered Exmark mowers to manage the 24-acre property. Every year, LMC trims the property’s 500 trees in preparation for high winds during hurricane season. “It’s one of our favorite properties,” Purnell says. “We really like it, and we really enjoy working with the client.”

This project earned LMC a 2018 Silver Award from the National Association of Landscape Professionals’ Awards of Excellence program.

Photo: Bryan Malloch

An aerial view of the property maintained by Lawn Management Co. (LMC). The crew from LMC maintains the site every Monday so that it looks good and is in tiptop shape for the rest of the week. Photo: Bryan Malloch

Photo: Bryan Malloch

After Hurricane Harvey, the office building closed due to flooding and other issues, which affected the retention of tenants. The client’s intent was to renovate the landscaping as quickly as possible. Photo: Bryan Malloch

Photo: Bryan Malloch

All new plant material surrounds the sign at the front entrance to Sugar Creek on the Lake. The area needed to be aerated before new flowers could be installed due to soil compaction caused by a large tractor-trailer generator. The generator was placed in the flower beds and used to provide power to the building in the weeks after Hurricane Harvey. Photo: Bryan Malloch

Photo: Bryan Malloch

Adam Purnell, branch manager at LMC, says the toughest challenge after the hurricane was correcting the flooded soil. The soil’s increased salt content killed many of the plants. Photo: Bryan Malloch

Photo: Bryan Malloch

The high-salinity of the soil was addressed by introducing carbon-based fertilizer and fresh organic matter. Once the soil profile was corrected, new plants were installed to replace flood-damaged plant material. Photo: Bryan Malloch

Photo: Bryan Malloch

Purnell says the property looks better now than before the hurricane, and the client is pleased with the site’s progress. Photo: Bryan Malloch

Danielle Pesta

About the Author:

Danielle Pesta is the associate editor of Landscape Management. She started writing for the green industry in 2014 and has won multiple awards from the Turf & Ornamental Communicators Association (TOCA). She can be reached at

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