Hurricane Harvey was one of the most catastrophic storms to ever strike the United States, actually tying Hurricane Katrina as the costliest tropical cyclone on record, causing $125 billion in damage. The storm primarily damaged the Houston area, wreaking havoc across just about every town and community nearby.
Even the 200 high school seniors that will walk the stage and graduate this month will have to do so a few miles away from their school because the building is undergoing a massive overhaul after the hurricane ripped it apart last year.
Thankfully, construction equipment companies, non-profit organizations, and volunteers have worked tirelessly to get these small communities back on their feet and repair as much damage as possible. The construction equipment industry has been an integral part of the U.S. economy for centuries and is actually projected to grow 12% from 2016 to 2026. This equipment is used across the nation for various commercial applications but has been increasingly utilized for rebuilding projects.
According to Construction Equipment Guide, high-quality machines and hundreds of workers and volunteers have been helping Rockport, Texas, a small coastal tourist town in Houston, rebuild after last year’s destruction.
“Houston was flooded, but Rockport was absolutely devastated,” said Craig Coppedge, owner of AirGen Equipment. “The buildings were not only under water, they were destroyed with no power anywhere. There was no place to store anything, so they made makeshift camps for items like water. To top it off, Texas is going through a fuel shortage due to Hurricane Harvey, making it even tougher for relief efforts.”
AirGen Equipment and other construction organizations have stepped up to not only remove debris, and rebuild residential and commercial properties, but to provide much-needed power to the community. The Chicago Pneumatic (CP) CPPG 5.5, for instance, is equipped with a 6.6-gallon fuel tank and can run power continuously for 10 hours. This generator can run at either 120 or 240 bolts and can produce an energy output of 5,500 watts continuously.
AirGen originally donated 10 of its CPPG 5.5 generators to help provide power to Rockport, but after the town’s residents expressed additional concerns about needing more energy, 25 more generators were sent to Houston to power refrigerators, HVAC units, and lighting across the city.
It wasn’t just a lack of power that was an issue outside of Houston, however. Since properties were completely ransacked by the storm, structural and landscape damage seemed insurmountable.
“We took a tremendous hit because Harvey had its eye on Rockport [and] Fulton,” added Diane Probst, president and CEO of the Lockport-Fulton Chamber of Commerce.
According to KSAT, since the statewide repair projects began, there are now 800 businesses back up and running, providing some much-needed hope for the area’s economy.
Since even minor landscaping projects can increase a home’s resale value by 14%, these mass cleanup and repair tasks have assisted the people of Rockport significantly, both property owners and business owners alike.
“We had numerous holes in our insurance,” said Jordan Pilgrim, co-owner of Rockport’s Pelican Bay Resort. “Most of our fencing wasn’t covered. Out pool wasn’t covered. Things that we didn’t even think about in the past, so now that’s sometime that we’re very focused on.”