The basement floor of a downtown Houston office building. Crews had pushed debris to the side to allow for a walking path. In other areas of the building, inspectors had to walk on top of the debris.
Photo by Steve Sherin, Zurich NA

After Hurricane Harvey moved out of the Houston area, Steve Sherin, an executive general adjuster for Zurich North America, spent five days there assessing claims. Because of the extent of the damage in Houston, Sherin was forced to fly to San Antonio airport, more than 200 miles away. And he had to stay in a hotel in Victoria, Texas, about 120 miles from Houston, because all the local rooms were booked.

Steve Sherin, Zurich North America

He left his hotel at 4:30 a.m. each day to begin long days surveying damage at commercial properties. On Sept. 7—nearly two weeks after Harvey made its initial landfall—he spent six hours walking through ankle-deep water and mud in one building, where he saw dead fish that had washed up onto a parking garage floor. Throughout the day, he was subjected to the constant din of cleaning equipment. His workday lasted about 17 hours.

“It’s tiring beyond belief, but there’s a lot of purpose in what we do,” Sherin said.

The next day, Sherin flew home to Florida, where he and his family rode out the next big storm, Hurricane Irma, which hit the Florida Keys on Sept. 10 before moving north through the middle of the state. After Irma moved away from Florida, Sherin began adjusting claims in his home state.

Photos that Sherin took in Texas in the aftermath of Harvey are attached.

Related article: Weathering Storms Together: How Zurich North America Responded to Hurricane Harvey

Cleaning up. Crews began cleaning the basement from left to right. The large fan in the middle of the room created air circulations, as the stifling heat made working in the basement almost unbearable. The step ladder was used to secure hanging debris to make conditions safer for the workers.
Photo by Steve Sherin, Zurich
A basement hallway. Shown are remnants of construction debris on the floor (drywall and insulation). Electrical and HVAC (Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning) components are hanging from ceiling after they were dislodged by the flood waters. The ceiling in the basement was seven to eight feet below the surface of the flood waters.
Photo by Steve Sherin, Zurich NA