Dear LSFM Supporter:
As I write this from my office at the museum, the sun is out and the storms of Hurricane Harvey have subsided. The 50 plus inches of rain was incredible; the flooding, devastation and impact on the thousands in its path is heartbreaking and will be felt in our community and region for months and years to come.
The irony of opening our building in the midst of Hurricane Harvey is not lost on any of us. The museum was all but destroyed in Hurricane Ike in 2008 and except for those that stepped up to save the airplanes and rebuild we would not have the museum today. With all the work and effort that has put us on the cusp of opening we are sensitive to those around us and their need for help and support now. As a result, we have decided to open on Saturday, September 16 at 9:00am.
We are mostly a new staff in a new $38M facility. While our facility is okay and our collection of planes and galleries are fine, out of our small staff of 30, at least four families evacuated for flooding and several more lost vehicles and personal belongings that were overcome by rising water. Many of our volunteers were impacted as well. With great understatement, this is very bad.
Most of the air effort for evacuation and now recovery, has been staged from here at Ellington Airport. Watching the Coast Guard and National Guard helicopters and C-130s in continuous action fills my heart with pride as their skill and devotion is put to the test answering the call of those in need. They join local first responders and an army of volunteers to evacuate and support thousands in need. This is truly a story of the indomitable human spirit. Now, as we support the region’s recovery, I am moved by the sense of strength and common purpose that rises above and is on full display.
Please be assured of our commitment to this building, our mission, and the community around us. We look forward to you arriving at our doors and we are proud of the experience you will have in our new facility.
Douglas H. Owens, Lt Gen (ret)