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Update

Hurricane Harvey shuts down produce companies, retail stores and restaurants

Since it made landfall in Corpus Christi, TX on Friday, hurricane Harvey has wreaked havoc across the gulf coast. Massive flooding unleashed by storm Harvey has left Houston – the 4th largest city in the US – increasingly isolated with its airports and highways shut down and many residents stranded in their homes.

20 inches more rain to come
"We received 20 inches of rain Saturday night and another 12 on Sunday," says Brent Erenwert with Brother's Produce. Erenwert's company is based in Houston and his personal residence is located in a suburb south of the city. "We are in 10-12 feet deep water and we will get another 20 inches of rain over the next three days," he added. 


The street in which Erenwert lives. His house is up a bit higher, so water didn't get in.

Busiest days in company history
Thursday and Friday were the busiest day in the history of Brother's Produce. "The high demand was mainly driven by retailers who wanted to stock up before the storm hit," said Erenwert. "We were able to help them out as the schools, an important part of our business, were getting closed and didn't need the produce they normally receive." Retailers were asking for hearty items like potatoes, apples, avocados, squash and lots of bananas. "We were one of the very few companies that delivered produce on Saturday."

Shelters and food banks
Brother's Produce is closed today as Erenwert wants his employees to be safe. Since the company did not lose any power, produce that is left in the distribution center is in very good condition. "I already reached out to some shelters and will be personally delivering produce to them." Erenwert is encouraging people to make donations to shelters and food banks. If you have produce you would like to donate, please contact Brent directly. He has also created a crowdfunding page. If you would like to donate, go to www.producereliefchallenge.com.

"For us, the biggest impact is the loss of business and the loss of product," said Erenwert. He noticed that retailer HEB was closed and all chain restaurants he drove by were closed as well. "The only thing open was Whataburger," he mentioned. "It will be a slow process to go back to normal, but business will start going when schools open up again."

Little impact in Rio Grande Valley
Important fruit and vegetable growing regions in Texas seem to have escaped from the hurricane. "It missed the Rio Grande Valley this weekend, so we saw very little impact," said Dante Galeazzi with the Texas International Produce Association. 

Tropical Storm Harvey moves slowly towards Louisiana. "Over the next few days the storm is forecast to head back into the Gulf of Mexico, where it could pick up moisture before moving back over Galveston and into Houston again," CNN meteorologist Karen Maginnis said, meaning at least four more days of rain. 

Contact:
Brent Erenwert
Brother's Produce
Tel: 281.830.6323

Publication date: 8/28/2017
Author: Marieke Hemmes
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


 


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