The new $38 million facility, to which the museum relocated from Galveston, and its collection of flyable aircraft emerged undamaged from the extremely destructive storm. But several families of museum staff members were forced to evacuate their homes because of flooding, and other staff members and volunteers lost vehicles or possessions to rising waters. said museum CEO Douglas Owens.
Owens noted an “irony” in opening the facility under circumstances inflicted by Hurricane Harvey because 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."
Owens, a retired U.S. Air Force lieutenant general, expressed pride at watching relief missions being flown by Coast Guard and National Guard pilots from Ellington Airport.
“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,” he wrote.