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Hurricane Ian: Helping Florida Heal From Devastation

Hurricane Ian: Helping Florida Heal From Devastation

On Wednesday, September 28, Hurricane Ian made landfall in Southwest Florida as a Category 4 storm, with sustained winds of 150 mph. Ian’s size and strength made it one of the most powerful hurricanes to hit Florida in modern history, comparable to Andrew in 1992 and Michael in 2018. Ian dropped over ten inches of rain in some areas, along with storm surges of seven or more feet, and took out power to nearly 2.5 million homes and businesses. Sadly, Ian also took the lives of more than 100 Floridians.

Hurricane Ian is estimated to be one of the costliest storms, as well. In its wake, the storm left property damage that may well total between $50 and $75 billion in insured losses. Some of the hardest hit areas, like Ft. Myers Beach and Sanibel Island, will take months, if not years, to rebuild.

The View From Home

From where we’re headquartered in Hillsborough County, we’re grateful that Ian’s effects weren’t as bad as they could have been. Thankfully, the greater Tampa area escaped heavy damage, although there were some scary moments when Ian appeared to suck the water right out of the bay. Although we had a few days without power, and there was wind and tree damage evident throughout the county, we were lucky to get through the storm relatively unscathed.

Proactive & Protective

We’re really proud to be part of our community, and gratitude for being unharmed isn’t enough. When hurricanes threaten our homes and the homes of our friends and customers, we have to take what action we can to protect our neighbors.

That’s why we donated 1,000 tons of sand and sandbags to people in our area before Ian struck. It was the least we could do to help mitigate flood damage from the approaching storm. And we’ll do it again the next time. Taking care of folks is what we do.

The Aftermath: Taking Action

When the storm passed, and people emerged from or returned to their homes, no one could imagine the breadth and scope of the damage. We knew we needed to take action. What can a trucking company do in the face of unfathomable destruction? We can truck, so we did. We mobilized over 300 trucks in the first 48 hours.

As one resident of Fort Myers Beach told us, “Your team’s efforts, dedication, professionalism, and, most of all, responsiveness. has made a huge and positive impact on our efforts to recover from the disaster of Hurricane Ian’s aftermath.”

We did what we could, and what we do best is trucking.

So, We Got To Trucking

Hurricane Ian only took a day and a half to decimate much of the SW Florida Coast, but cleanup from a storm of that magnitude is no small feat. While it’s true that it will take many months to rebuild some of the hardest-hit areas, we’re happy we could spring into immediate action. From our 300 trucks moving in the first two days, we worked our way back to our larger fleet and transported 240,000 tons of aggregates to the southwest counties in the first 14 days. That’s the equivalent weight of 20 Eiffel Towers or 150 Giant Redwood trees.

Where Did We Haul It All?

When hurricane damage is as heavy as it was from Ian, you have to get the material to where it’s needed most and as quickly as possible. The barrier islands, especially Sanibel, were in rough shape. Sanibel was cut off from the mainland when a section of the causeway collapsed, so that was one of the first places we assisted with materials delivery.

The Sanibel Causeway Response Team was grateful for our assistance, and sent this kind message:

“We want to thank your truckers for the outstanding around-the-clock service provided. We also want to thank the supervisors and dispatching staff who were always available for consult, they made it very easy to communicate with and were very responsive to our requests.”

We were happy to help, and we’re also happy to say that along with Sanibel and Fort Myers Beach, we trucked aggregates to assist with the Matlacha and Cape Coral Bridge projects. We’re grateful for a strong network of commercial aggregate suppliers and our solid relationships with subcontractors that made it possible to move so much material in a relatively short period of time.

Resources Make the Difference

What happens next for Southwest Florida? It remains to be seen. Our colleague Jorge Delgado had this to say:

“Weeks after the storm passed, our counties are still faced with tremendous burdens. T. Disney Trucking has the experience and knowledge in the industry to continue to provide you with the excellent service you need and deserve. Even when the project had several unpredicted challenges and tight timelines, those challenges were addressed with experience and professionalism.”

We appreciate the love, Jorge, but what we did before and after Ian is just a fraction of what could be done. Southwest Florida still needs more resources and more time to recover. If you’re in a position to help, we hope you’ll do so. You can find more information about donating time or money on Volunteer Florida’s website. And if you find yourself in need of resources to help rebuild your home or business, you can get the latest guidance from the Florida Division of Emergency Management. In times like these, we need to spread the word and share the love.

Keep On Keepin’ On

For us, helping with hurricane protection and recovery efforts is part and parcel of being a business leader in our community. We live and work in a place we love, with people we want to do our best for. Even through the initial post-Ian weeks, we’re thrilled to say we never missed any of our regular or previously scheduled deliveries. Customer service is at the heart of what we do, and we’d never want to let anyone down, come hurricane or high water.

We’d love to work with you on your next project, and we’ve got an office full of friendly, knowledgeable staff and over 1,000 capable drivers waiting to haul your materials all over the state. If you want to work with one of Florida’s most experienced (we’ve been doing this since 1980!) trucking companies, then get in touch or request a quote today.

Take it from our friend, Joseph Snow, who said after our initial hurricane efforts, “They are clearly experts in their field, and it shines through in their work.”

Thanks, Joseph! That means a lot to us.

We’re ready to help you with all your commercial or residential aggregate sourcing and hauling needs, so we’ll see you on the road.