Yaz Irani, founder and CEO of Airport Van Rental (AVR), has been checking in with Dallas Kay, his manager at the company’s location in Houston, for updates on the affects of Hurricane Harvey in Houston area.
According to Kay, he has called all the due rentals to try and assist customers on extending rentals. So far, six vans have been returned at a local Best Western hotel. “Customers are stuck in their homes,” he says. “Some are stuck in Mississippi and some are stuck in Louisiana. Unfortunately, the storm could track that way on Wednesday and Thursday.”
Kay has been stuck inside his house for four days now. “My family and I are doing OK. Our subdivision is surrounded by water thus not allowing us to leave. We were running really low on food. I asked on social media if someone had been able to go to the store. A very nice neighbor showed up within five minutes with a bag of food for me and my family. I couldn’t have been more grateful.”
Kay spoke to Rosey, his service agent. Her house had water pouring in; a family member had to rescue her and her husband by boat. “She is safe and dry, but she lost everything in her house and her car,” he says. Another employee Sharde Buchanen had to evacuate due to a levee breaking nearby. She and her dad are safe, but she still can't reach her mother, sister, or brother.
Team members are still sheltered in place. “We have been trying to find and reach family members,” says Kay. “I asked my team members for phone numbers to help try to help them contact their family members. We all keep calling and trying to send Coast Guard and National Guard rescue teams to the areas where they last spoke with their family members.”
In Houston, the rain should let up by Thursday and Friday, but the rivers, bayous, and reservoirs remain an issue; some have overflowed and most are at their capacity. According to news reports, the threat of flodding won't let up until Saturday or Sunday. As of Wednesday, both major airports are still closed.
"Last report that I saw there have been over 4,000 rescues," says Kay. "Currently, there's over 30,000 people in 230-plus shelters. Unfortunately, the death toll from Harvey has reached 30 lives."