Trucks in High Demand as Harvey Clean-Up Continues
Hurricane Harvey was the first major hurricane of the 2017 Atlantic season, and it brought with it a historic amount of devastation.
Unlike most hurricanes, the bulk of Harvey’s damage came from heavy rains rather than high wind. The unprecedented amount of flooding caused by the first hurricane to make landfall in the US since 2005’s Wilma ended a decade-plus streak without storms of this type.
Harvey continues to shatter all the wrong types of records, now being projected as the costliest natural disaster ever. It’s overwhelming $160 billion dollars according to some estimates, making it as expensive as Hurricane’s Katrina and Sandy combined. It also represents a hit of about 0.8% to the nation’s GDP.
Trucks will be in high demand as the cleanup continues. Many areas are still under water, with disease being a big risk in the affected areas. Flatbed truck demand has already seen a spike, as these vehicles can haul everything from emergency vehicles to rescue and medical equipment.
Over 30,000 people are still displaced from the disaster, and thousands of rescue efforts have already taken place. Continued rains pose an additional threat, and the strong winds may even lead to a few tornadoes in the surrounding areas.
The storm began as a tropical wave near the Lesser Antilles, then lost momentum due to wind shear. After moving west and northwest through the Caribbean, the storm gaining strength four days later in the Bay of Campeche. After gaining hurricane status, the storm stalled a bit during the next before making landfall near Rockport.
Commercial trucks always see an increase in demand during disasters like this, and not just for flatbeds. Fuel trucks and trailers capable of transporting perishables become vital to rescue efforts as some areas are completely uninhabitable. Even when residents escape these areas, the lack of food, fuel, and other important supplies make every day a dangerous challenge.
Given the historic record-breaking costs of Harvey, it is likely that trucks will be needed in greater supply than before. Rescue efforts will give way to rebuilding efforts in the coming months, which will likely depend on the commercial freight industry as well.