A&E Exclusive: Awards Industry Begins to Recover in Houston After Severe Flooding

Over 240 billion gallons of rain poured down over the Houston area since Monday, causing some awards retailers and suppliers to temporarily close their doors.

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Awards Houston flooding

Over 240 billion gallons of rain poured down over the Houston area since Monday, causing flooding across the region. And while inclement weather is expected to continue over the Gulf Coast in the next few days, awards retailers and distributors in the Houston area are beginning to recover and open their doors once again for business.

Due to the closure of many major and residential roads, many businesses were affected by the weather, though the severity of their situation varies by location.

Awards by Allstar, located west of downtown within the Interstate 610 Loop, narrowly avoided the strain of flooding. “We were fortunate,” owner Marc Batcher tells A&E magazine. “We saw it happening all around us, but we just happened to be in the right spot.”

Further north in Humble, A Plus Trophy also remained unscathed as the surrounding area bared the brunt on the storms. However, other awards retailers were not as lucky and were forced to close after the flooding began.

Nancy Johnson, an employee at All Awards also located in Humble, says the store hours have been affected due to commute times. “It’s affecting major roads,” she explains, adding that though they are currently open, they are keeping a watchful eye on the weather as forecasters expect more rain.

Located in northwest Houston, AAA Trophy & Engraving opened its doors again on Tuesday, says employee Linda Maiorana. “We were pretty much closed on Monday,” she says. “People couldn’t get to work. People couldn’t come to get awards and their engravings. People couldn’t get out of their driveway.”  

North Houston-based ACF Awards could not open for business until Wednesday, says employee Randy Lepere, who is the only employee currently manning the store. “Most everybody is stranded. The owners and my other coworkers are stranded.”

Industry suppliers in the area were also affected by the inclement weather. The JDS Industries warehouse in Houston was closed on Monday, JDS Communications Specialist Brenna Walsh tells A&E magazine. The company issued a statement to its customers Monday announcing its temporary closure due to concern for the safety of its employees. “There will be no shipments from Houston today. (Customer orders) can ship from one of our other warehouses if needed,” the statement read.

Northwest Houston in particular is still bracing for the worst, as Cypress Creek continues to rise and has not crested. For those commuting from the area, it’s been a struggle to maintain business as usual.

Armadillo Photo Owner Jeff Kline commutes to work every day. “Where we live, there’s one way in and one way out-the Cypress Creek Crossover,” Kline explains. While the roads to the company’s warehouse were temporarily underwater, Armadillo Photo remained open. Kline says it was even quite busy on Tuesday. “We’re doing well. We’re open, but a lot of companies are still flooded out; hotels and buildings are flooded out. Every house within a block or so of the San Jacinto River, Spring Creek and Cypress Creek are flooded out. The streets are under 3 to 5 feet of water,” he says. “With 13 inches of rain overnight and a lot more rain coming, it doesn’t matter how well the sewer system drains, Mother Nature is going to be stronger.”

Retailers in the Houston area report that they will continue to monitor the weather and update customers on any changes to their hours and services.

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