The situation in East Texas is dire. Hundreds of thousands of people have been evacuated from their homes – but in many cases, the traffic arteries to get them out of town are closed. For example, Wyatt Wainwright, the ATAE from the Houston area, has been evacuated but he cannot drive more than three miles away from his home. Some estimates are that 300,000-500,000 houses may be flooded. Several of the area’s rivers will not crest until Wednesday or Thursday this week, so we are not close to the finish line yet.
We have reports that several dealerships are completely under water. The above photo is from McRee Ford in Dickinson, Texas. Approximately 30,000-50,000 dealership employees work in the Houston area, and we do not yet know the number of affected families.
“We are struggling with the evacuation right now,” said Wainwright. “There are large scale mandatory and voluntary evacuations going on right now. We don’t know where we can go to escape. I don’t know how I could drive three miles right now without getting blocked.”
The NADA Foundation has mobilized its Emergency Relief Fund to assist dealership employees who have been impacted by personal property damage caused by the hurricane and flooding.
“There’s still 20 to 30 inches of rain that still has to pass through. We are not even near to the peak flooding yet,” Wainwright added. “A big issue we haven’t faced yet are rivers and streams that have yet to overflow. There is so much more of this to go which is the problem.”
Dealership employees affected by the flooding can apply for financial assistance. (Lost wages or commissions are not eligible for reimbursement from the fund.)
The NADA Foundation is also calling on dealers and dealer association groups to donate online to its Emergency Relief Fund.
Checks can be made payable to Emergency Relief Fund, c/o NADA Foundation, 8400 Westpark Drive, MS 7, Tysons, VA 22102. For more information, call 703.821.7102.