A nightmare scenario has happened in one of the largest cities in North America. Record flooding has caused local infrastructure to break-down and put residents in the fourth largest municipality at risk. A levee in Brazoria County has broken and this will cause flooding to accelerate across the already drenched area.
According to a report on KFSM, county officials told residents to leave immediately and brace for the worst. Air Force One is scheduled to land any moment now, as the President comes to assess the damage and provide support to first responders. The Presidential arrival is a sign that the Federal government wants to be viewed taking a proactive response to relief efforts and working to ensure that folks in the area affected get the necessary supplies.
Learning from past relief efforts, once the President arrives that is the sign that supplies are starting to get distributed to local residents impacted at the storm. During Katrina, President Bush escorted a convoy of trucks into the Superdome as a symbolic and visible show of force.
The levee break and the damage it will cause will dramatically increase demand for relief supply truckloads and freight both short and long-term. The economists in the business and wall-street analysts have attempted to forecast the impact of the storm on the freight markets, but a storm like Harvey has not hit a major metropolitan center the size of Houston ever before.
People keep comparing Harvey to Katrina- but this storm will likely be far more impactful to the freight markets.
Houston metro is more than four times the size of New Orleans at the time Katrina hit. Additionally, Texas has far more money, people, and resources at its disposal. Houston is also a very large economic center for the nation, a center of energy, biotech, technology, and aerospace and the headquarters of 35 Fortune 1000 companies.
Lets also not count out the Feds. Texas is one of the largest states in the country with a ton of voters. The Feds will ensure that Texas will get resources deployed in record fashion to demonstrate their commitment to its proud people and businesses in the area.
This will mean a lot of truckloads sent to relief efforts, even if they are over-supplied. Additionally, because of the economic importance of the region (and significant presence of corporate HQs)- the rebuilding of South Texas will result in a super-long convoy in both numbers of truckloads and the duration of the convoys. Expect the freight demand to last for months, if not longer.