In mid-October, Kingsland, Texas, became the latest victim in a string of floods affecting communities across the state in recent months. As Kingsland residents began taking stock of the devastation, David Bertino, Sales Professional at RDO Equipment Co. – Austin, immediately began thinking of how he and RDO Equipment Co. could help.
Kingsland, just northwest of Austin, lies nestled along the banks of Lake Lyndon B. Johnson, where the Llano and Colorado Rivers meet. Extensive rainfall in October pushed water levels in the rivers to their highest heights in decades. Water rushing through Lake LBJ swept away the RM 2900 bridge, one of the few routes into and out of Kingsland. Several homes nearest to the lake were left with water up to the roofs and yards inundated with massive piles of sand and other debris.
David and his family joined other Kingsland residents to shovel dirt and mud from houses affected by the flood. David noticed a few people using skid steers to remove debris, but he knew RDO Equipment Co. could be a source of more powerful tools.
David jumped into action, contacting RDO Equipment Co. - Waco to reserve a dozer and reaching out to Austin store management to see if his location could cover the cost of the rental. Management agreed to help, and David arranged to have the dozer delivered to Kingsland.
For Troy Young, Austin General Manager, the decision to donate the dozer was a clear-cut case of stepping up to help those in need.
“The communities that we work and live in needed support after all the flooding. I think it’s important to take care of the communities that take care of us,” Young says.
David volunteered to operate the dozer over the weekend, and in just a few days, he was able to help five Kingsland families clear debris from their yards, pushing it back toward the lake to better protect the homes during future rainfall.
“This was a true representation of partnering with our communities,” says Rob Duckett, Austin Parts Manager. “I think David should be recognized for it.”
But for David, the motivation to help his neighbors stems from knowing all too well what the destruction is like. As a former resident of southeast Texas, David endured the wrath of Hurricane Rita in 2005 and Hurricane Ike in 2008.
“Every little thing helps after something like that,” says David. “If you can do or give something to return some normalcy to peoples’ lives, that’s good, and that’s what we wanted to do.”
The dozer made a seemingly insurmountable task manageable during a challenging time for those affected in Kingsland, and David says RDO Equipment Co.’s willingness and ability to help is something he values tremendously.
“It means everything,” he says. “It makes me proud to be a part of this RDO family that makes such an impact in the community.”