When Confluence CEO Rich Krause saw unprecedented flooding in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, he knew the paddlesports company had to do something to help. It didn’t take any convincing to get the whole team on board.
“We started making calls on Monday,” Krause told us on Wednesday. After dozens of calls to police, Coast Guard and government officials, they got the go-ahead to send kayaks, PFDs and paddles to help with rescue efforts.
By Wednesday morning, they had packed a semi-truck with 80 tandem Perception Rambler kayaks and 70 Wilderness Systems Rides along with 175 paddles and 175 life vests including much-needed child PFDs. “The distribution team came in early to load the truck,” he said.
After receiving special authorization and instructions, two drivers set off for Harris County, Texas. Krause says, “They won’t shut off the truck until they get to Texas.” Once the supplies arrive at a central distribution point, local authorities will distribute the materials where they are needed most.
Krause says the kayaks will be used to reach areas that are impossible to access with larger boats or helicopters. Areas with heavy tree cover or houses that may be flooded can still be accessed with a paddle craft. “They can load the tandem kayaks with 500 pounds of gear,” he says. Hurricane damage hit Krause close to home, his daughter and her family are stuck in the flooding.
“They are safe in an area of high ground,” he told us, “but they are surrounded by water.” After seeing convoys of volunteers towing skiffs, airboats and other craft to the area, Krause knew he could help. “There is more coming,” he promises.
Confluence Outdoor encourages all customers who want to support relief efforts to donate directly to the United Way of Greater Houston.