As Tropical Storm Harvey continues to wreak havoc on Houston, Meyer Distributing is simply trying to ensure its employees there are safe.
The company’s 50,000-square-foot Houston distribution center houses 15,000 parts and employs 22. Nick Gramelspacher, vice president of sales and marketing for Meyer, has been in contact with the manager of the facility to ensure the staff’s safety.
Around noon on Monday most employees were known to be safe, but management was still waiting to hear from a few.
Hurricane Harvey came ashore north of Corpus Christi, Texas, on Friday as a Category Four hurricane before moving back offshore. It re-emerged on the Texas coastline as a Category Three hurricane as it moved toward Houston. The storm, as of Monday, has already dumped over 35 inches of rain on some parts of Houston and forecasts suggest those areas could see totals top 50 inches of rain by Wednesday.
“The storm has totally crippled the area,” Gramelspacher said. “Nobody is waiting on product because they aren’t able to open their shops or get to their shops. We haven’t been able to actually get to our facility yet due to the flood waters and closed roadways.”
It appears that Meyer’s Houston facility has so far escaped substantial damage.
“We have a lot of security cameras set up and about half of them are still working,” Gramelspacher said. “We can see that there’s some high water in the distance but it hasn’t reached the building. We’ll continue to closely monitor the situation.”
Meyer has operated its Houston facility since 2004. The nearby Meyer distribution center in Dallas is the company’s next largest facility behind its headquarters in Jasper, Indiana. The company’s preparation for the storm included shipping about 100 extra generators to Dallas last week, knowing that aftermarket shops and companies would likely need to literally jump-start their businesses once the cleanup begins.
“We run sales on generators during times of need. Some box stores and businesses sometimes gouge prices in moments like these but that’s not what we do at all,” Gramelspacher said. “We sent (the generators) to Dallas just in case we lost access to our facility in Houston. Hopefully we can somehow get those generators to those who need them.”
Meyer is also attempting to assist rescue efforts in Houston. Upon hearing that some rescue workers have suspended their efforts at nighttime due to a lack of boat lighting, Gramelspacher said the company would like to donate marine lights.
“I’m still trying to figure out how to donate lights,” he said. “I’ve reached out to a few news agencies who are reporting about rescuers not able to go out at night.”
Stay tuned to THE SHOP newsletter for updates on Hurricane Harvey’s affect on the aftermarket in Houston and surrounding areas. If you or someone you know from the industry has been affected by the storm, please contact staff writer Anthony Bowe at [email protected], or 720-566-7298.