Blazer Boats of Ellington recently sent some much needed assistance to the flood-damaged areas on the Texas Coast.
Not able to send boats at the initial outset, the small family owned operation sent a crew to the Port Arthur area where the release of water from upstream reservoirs was causing rivers and streams to rise despite the fact that the rain had ceased.
Low lying coastal areas around the Neches River and surrounding bayous were rapidly flooding.
The Blazer crew arrived on site and their first task was delivering medicine to a family isolated by damaged bridges on both major highways and side-roads.
Over the next few days vaults and caskets were retrieved and secured in a small graveyard that had been flooded for the first time in residents’ memories; a cemetery more than a century old. More than two hundred people were transported to safety.
Many of these removals were precautionary and for comfort, at least two dozen were from rooftops of structures about to be enveloped by rising water.
The majority of those transported were taken to a makeshift aid station provided by the Blazer crew; a station consisting of blue tarps for shade, a generator and box fans and forty cases of bottled water.
During their time South, the Blazer crew distributed a total of eighty cases of bottled water, numerous T-shirts and books—many to more permanent aid facilities.
“We knew we had to do something” stated Calvin Moss—Blazer co-owner. “We’ve partnered with the Ozark Heritage Project many times over the years, generally for river clean-ups.
We’ve worked to save our environment, to preserve our culture. This time we got to help save lives!!”
Other jetboats were operating in the Houston areas. One firefighter was quick to point out their advantage.
Jim Allen of Jasper noted “We used them and their pumps to fight fires; they weren’t a danger to people in the water with their props, they didn’t tear up when hitting submerged structures.”
“We at Blazer are always looking for a way to build a better boat. More importantly, we are looking for ways to build a better world” added Mr. Moss.
Co-operative efforts of Blazer and OHP may be followed on Facebook page Stewards of the Ozarks.