In Port Aransas, schools had only been in session a few days when the storm hit, replacing beach-happy bliss with cataclysmic chaos. Boats lay strewn across the roadways, draped in live electrical wires. Dead fish littered the high school track. Natural gas mingled with ground water. More than 2,500 homes in the city of 4,000 residents were heavily damaged or destroyed.
The two brothers stand in the carport in Huntsville, Ala., and stare up at the cloudy sky, scuffing their shoes against the concrete and frowning. If it rains, they won’t be able to cut grass. A black SUV pulls into the driveway, and their frowns turn to smiles as they rush to greet the man inside — Rodney Smith Jr., whose grin is even bigger than theirs.
By Carmen K. Sisson | Christian Science Monitor HOOVER, Ala. — Ronald Reese slips quietly into the library, unnoticed by the kindergartners scattered around the floor. His eyes scan their upturned faces, searching for his daughter. He grins broadly — there’s Nia Mya at the center of it all, wearing…
Long-term success in a competitive field like drayage requires adaptability and a willingness to explore new technologies and practices. At Seattle-based Graham Trucking, success meant upgrading their aging fleet, even though many of their older Mack® trucks were still performing well, some after decades of use. Improved fuel mileage, lower repair costs and more driver amenities made the new models an obvious choice.
Dan Moore is an innovator as well as a businessman, so when his glass transporting fleet — one of only a few such specialized haulers in the U.S. — ran into a problem, he wasted no time figuring out how to solve it. In his case, the answer was crystal clear: Change his mixed fleet to all Mack. His decision to fill his yard with 140 Mack Pinnacles, saved not only money but, possibly, his business.
Hurricane Harvey left an indelible mark on Refugio and other small communities in what’s called Texas’ Coastal Bend, battering buildings and replacing bucolic bliss with chaos. But the streets in this town of 2,890 people are not empty because of the hurricane – they are empty in spite of it. It’s a brisk nod of Texas defiance in the face of overwhelming loss. A tip of the hat to the unifying roles of faith, family, and football as Texans begin to rebuild a way of life that neither war nor weather has managed to vanquish.
As more communities pass “green” legislation, more service providers are finding a niche in helping those companies meet their environmental goals while improving their bottom line. Mack trucks power many of those providers, including Waste Masters Solutions, a regional commercial waste and recycling business in Delaware, Pennsylvania and Maryland. It is a partnership with long bloodlines and deep roots, says owner Brian Simmons.
Shady, tree-lined neighborhoods are a maze of mismatched dinette sets and children’s toys. Stores are de facto shelters, diners and one-stop shops for donations and disaster assistance forms. Times are hard, but one thing has emerged — a wave of community spirit and Christian servanthood as neighbors help neighbors and churches unleash armies of volunteers.
This was her third flood. I did not ask why she stays, because it is her right to live where she chooses, and she owes neither me nor anyone else an explanation. For her, this yard, this house, this oak tree, is happiness. I see a clever sign. She sees birthday parties and prom date photos in the front yard. She sees her children’s tiny fingers and toes and smells the sweetness of walking in the front door with a brand new, fragile life in her hands. These things are not easy to leave.
The scope of the devastation is staggering. Houston is the fourth largest city in the nation, bigger than the state of New Jersey with a population of more than 2.3 million within city limits and 6.5 million throughout the metro area. Across the state, Hurricane Harvey affected more than 6.8 million people in 18 counties. As the days pass, the damage and death totals continue to rise. So, too, do the number of volunteers.