The first thing you notice when driving into Rockport, Texas is the scope of the damage. Pieces of countless lives are piled up outside homes in huge piles of debris. A large makeshift dump is a hub of activity, where material waste is separated from trees felled by the storm.
Rockport and the surrounding area was ground zero for the Category 4 storm, as Hurricane Harvey hit the coastal town of 10,000 at full force, with sustained winds of 130 mph.
In the wake of the devastating storm that knocked out power to the area for days, businesses scrambled to get back up and running.
“We were hit really hard—we had no power, no water, no gas to get started back up,” recalls Brian Brock, sales manager with Builder’s First Source (BFS), a lumberyard in Rockport. “We had to issue hand tickets and let people take what they needed and come back and pay us later. Initially, we had no way to process credit cards, and people didn’t have access to cash.”
The first day after the storm BFS tried running on several small portable generators, which proved to be an untenable situation. Finally, several days later, Holt Power Systems provided BFS with a 220 kW generator from San Antonio to help the lumberyard get going again.
“A lot of people in town had other brands of generators that were failing,” Brock says. “They weren’t failing initially—everything works good the first day—but over time we ran that Cat® rental generator for 15 to 20 hours a day, six days a week, and it never stopped.”