About 36 hours after Hurricane Harvey first made landfall in Southeastern Texas, Keyvan “Fred” Ram noticed water starting to flow up his driveway at his home in northwest Houston.
“At first, I thought this is it, water is not going to get into the house,” said Ram, who has worked as an auto body technician in the collision department at Helfman Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep-Ram in Houston for the past three years.
Over the next 12 hours, flood water steadily entered his home through the garage and front door.
“I started to panic. There was no electricity. It was dark,” Ram added. “I found the highest place, my attic. I was trapped inside my house.”
Early the next morning after spending the night in his attic, Ram decided to get out after hearing the sound of helicopters fly above. He waded through chest-high water to exit his home and climbed on top of his flooded SUV in the driveway where he sat for six hours until he was rescued that afternoon by the sheriff’s department patrolling in a boat.
“I lost my house. It’s completely flooded. And my cars are underwater,” said Ram, a 22-year resident of Houston.
Dealership owner Steven Wolf estimates 150 out of 600 employees at his three dealerships in Houston sustained minor to major property damage.
Dealership employees who sustained personal property damage caused by the hurricane and flooding can apply for financial assistance through the NADA Foundation’s Emergency Relief Fund. (Lost wages or commissions are not eligible for reimbursement.)
The NADA Foundation is calling on dealers, dealer association groups and others to donate online to the Emergency Relief Fund, which is dedicated exclusively to providing financial assistance to dealership employees and their families.
Personal or corporate checks can be made payable to Emergency Relief Fund, c/o NADA Foundation, 8400 Westpark Drive, Tysons, VA 22102. For more information, call 703.821.7102. (Donations to the NADA Foundation are generally tax-deductible; contributors should consult their tax advisors for details.)
Since 1992, the NADA Foundation’s Emergency Relief Fund has provided more than $6 million to 9,200 dealership employees and their families across the country.