Houston producer shares his Harvey experience

By |  September 1, 2017

River Aggregates’ Rob Van Til has endured flood issues at his sand-and-gravel operation outside of Houston before.

It’s unlikely past flood events compare to this latest one related to Hurricane Harvey, though.

Van Til, a managing partner at River Aggregates, is among the Houston-area producers who could not access his operation in the immediate aftermath of Harvey. Van Til was stuck in his home until Tuesday, when he was finally able to escape his flooded neighborhood.

Floodwaters crept close to his home, Van Til says. Fortunately, his home did not sustain significant damage. But some of his employees are dealing with major cleanups at home.

“One or two have significant losses,” Van Til says. “We just have more guys who can’t get out.”

On Wednesday, Van Til ventured out with his son to help people in need. They helped tear out sheetrock and carpeting from water-soaked homes, noting how the streets were significantly affected by Harvey.

“We were kind of landlocked in our house for a couple of days, but there are people with total losses who will be trying to rebuild their homes,” Van Til says. “Most of the people we’ve seen have only had 2 to 3 ft. of water. Some people had water all the way to the top of their garage.”

Van Til planned to get back into his aggregate operation along the San Jacinto River on Thursday to assess the damage there.

“We’ll probably reopen one day next week,” Van Til says. “We have this three-day weekend, which helps because it will just allow things to dry out. At some point next week, we will be back up and running and shipping next week.”

Editor’s note: For additional Pit & Quarry coverage of Hurricane Harvey, read our industry update article and our news article on the hurricane’s potential effects on industry trade shows and conferences in Houston next year.

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