Initial heavy equipment operations included debris removal and home demolition near Rockport and Aransas Pass, Texas, where the eye of Hurricane Harvey made landfall in August. (Photo Credit: Case Construction Equipment and Matt Mateiescu, Team Rubicon)
Veteran-led disaster response organization Team Rubicon began the heavy equipment operations of "Operation Hard Hustle" on Thursday, Sept. 14, with equipment and on-site support personnel provided by Case Construction Equipment. Initial heavy equipment operations included debris removal and home demolition near Rockport and Aransas Pass, Texas, where the eye of Hurricane Harvey made landfall in August. Sonsray Machinery, Inc. of California also shipped compact track loaders in for the operation, and Michelin North America, Inc. donated sets of its Tweel airless radial tires to outfit skid steers working in demolition applications.
"This is the most severe disaster the heavy equipment operators at Team Rubicon have been deployed to since the inception of the equipment operation training program in 2015," said Scott Harris, vice president — North America, Case Construction Equipment. "What Case staff saw in Rockport and surrounding areas were communities coming together to lift each other up and rebuild, and Team Rubicon is there at the forefront. It's that sense of community and civic responsibility that drove us and dealers like Sonsray to step up and join them in Texas."
"You can't understand the devastation leveled by a hurricane until you're standing at the point where the eye made landfall and see the damage. It disrupts basic services and infrastructure for weeks and potentially months," said John Dotto, brand marketing manager with Case, who was on the ground with Team Rubicon in Texas. "We're inspired by the spirit and resiliency shown by Texans, and are committed to doing what we can in conjunction with Team Rubicon to start rebuilding the community."
Nueces Power Equipment of Corpus Christi is providing on-ground equipment support to the operation in Rockport.
Since Hurricane Harvey made landfall, Team Rubicon has deployed 768 volunteers to Texas in support of the ongoing relief efforts with debris removal, damage assessments, muck outs, expedient home repair and chainsaw operations. Strike teams on the ground have conducted over 5,000 damage assessments and serviced 135 homes to date.
The heavy equipment competency within Team Rubicon was created to train volunteers in the safe operation of equipment to support disaster response operations. Case has provided ongoing equipment and training support since the beginning of the heavy equipment program in November 2015.
Team Rubicon continues to establish operations throughout Texas and Florida in response to Harvey and Irma, and will deploy additional heavy equipment teams as needed. To donate to Team Rubicon's relief efforts, visit www.TeamRubiconUSA.org. For more on the partnership between Team Rubicon and Case, visit www.CaseCE.com/TeamRubicon.