With heavy rains still coming down, there is no way to get in and out of Airport Van Rental’s (AVR) location near Houston International Airport.
“The exit to our Houston location is closed and the street that the location sits on is flooded,” says Cesar Leyva, AVR’s vice president of fleet operations. “Both airports in Houston are closed and all freeways are closed or impassable.”
At this point, Yaz Irani, founder and CEO of AVR, doesn’t know the extent of flooding to AVR’s location in Houston. With no way in or out, the store can’t be open at this time.
“Located outside Houston International Airport, our location sits a little higher so we are hoping that the location hasn’t flooded,” says Irani.
Many employees can’t leave their homes to try to go to work. With the heavy flooding, Leyva said that four employees are stuck inside their homes. One employee named Johneishia left her home and is now stuck in a hotel. Unfortunately, Johneishia lost her car and her home is completely flooded.
“We have told employees that their safety is the top priority,” says Irani. “We don’t want them to even consider trying to get to work until they feel that they can safely leave their homes. Safety of employees and their families is No. 1 right now.”
Although AVR doesn't have a location in Dallas, the company has set up a temporary drop-off location in a parking lot in Dallas for customers to drop off their rental vans.
“We are contacting ou r renters in Houston from our company’s central calling center,” says Irani. “They tell us where they are, and we are working with them to have them drop off the rental van at a convenient location. We will pick up the van later, whether that’s in Dallas or another area.”
The eye of the storm system is expected to make its second landfall in Houston on Tuesday afternoon. In addition to the rain, the other threat is the overflowing of rivers and bayous. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner has instructed for controlled releases of reservoirs around the city before they burst and the dams break.
“Unfortunately by slowly releasing the overflowing water, it will cause more flooding in Houston,” says Leyva. “The mayor has instructed that everyone stay inside until told it is safe to be on the road.”
Irani and other AVR employees are staying in touch with managers in Houston to offer any help.