LAKE CHARLES, La. — The town of Lake Charles, Louisiana, has been hard-hit this hurricane season, first by Hurricane Laura, a Category 4 storm, in late August and then again, just 43 days later, by Hurricane Delta, a Category 2. Laura made headlines as the fifth-strongest storm ever to hit the U.S. coast. Both storms resulted in heavy damage and flooding.
Lake Charles Truck Equipment, a business that has served the Lake Charles area for nearly five decades, was in the path of both storms, according to a news release from HDA Truck Pride, a supplier of aftermarket parts and service for the commercial-vehicle market.
As owner Don Kelley and the staff of Lake Charles Truck Equipment braced for impact from both Laura and Delta, employees secured everything possible at the business before heading home to secure their own residences. Once the storms cleared, the damage was evident. Kelley said the results of Hurricane Laura were catastrophic; but more importantly, the damage to his team members’ homes was unimaginable. They spent four weeks without power and phone lines; both services were restored just days before Delta hit.
A member of HDA Truck Pride, Lake Charles Truck Equipment relied on assistance from other distributor members and suppliers in the aftermath of the storms. Employees from Houston Truck Parts, R. Kelly’s Truck Parts, East Texas Truck Center, Trico, LLC and Northeast Truck and Trailer all showed up to help move debris, salvage inventory and provide support. Houston Truck Parts also brought a generator, drums of fuel, a pallet of plywood and a pallet of drinking water. Supplier representatives from Dorman, Heavy Duty Marketing, Phillips Industries and US Tarps also helped with recovery efforts for the business.
In addition, through individual donations and a GoFundMe page, parts distributors and suppliers raised more than $20,000 to help the employees of Lake Charles Truck Equipment.
“We cannot begin to express our gratitude for the donations of time, resources and financial contributions in the wake of these storms,” Kelley said.
“We always say the heavy-duty industry is like family, but this just proves it. I do not what to think about where we would be without all the help,” he said. “We are overwhelmed by the generosity of our fellow members and supplier companies.”
The donation site will remain open for a few more weeks as employees of Lake Charles Truck Equipment recover from both storms. For more information, click here.