CASE Construction Equipment dealers Tidewater Equipment and CASE Power & Equipment of Florida were swift to respond. Both community-focused companies supplied essential equipment including CASE compact loaders equipped with root grapples to help make quick work of clearing trees and opening roadways.
“When CASE put out a request to local dealers for machinery to support recovery efforts, we jumped right into action,” said Kevin Pittman, Sales Manager for Tidewater Equipment at their location in Live Oak, Florida, near Taylor County. “This disaster was right in our backyard, and the folks impacted by Idalia were our neighbors, family, and friends. We wanted to help any way we could, and we were moved by the work Team Rubicon volunteers were doing across southern Georgia and the Florida Panhandle.”
When it comes to responding to disasters, volunteers from the veteran-led nonprofit Team Rubicon are some of the first to arrive. Also known as Greyshirts, Team Rubicon volunteers include sawyers and heavy equipment operators who clear trees and debris from roads so emergency crews can access impacted communities.
In Taylor County, the destruction left by the high winds, rain, and storm surge from Hurricane Idalia was especially severe. Roads across the county were blocked by trees and other debris while power was out in large portions of the county. After Taylor County’s emergency manager requested help, Team Rubicon, with the help of CASE machinery from Tidewater Equipment and CASE Power & Equipment of Florida, launched its first Idalia response.
“Our continued partnership with CASE allows Team Rubicon to assist more communities in need before and after disasters strike,” said William Porter, Director of Operations Support for Team Rubicon. “We were able to quickly clear roads within hours of Hurricane Idalia making landfall in Florida and have continued to support the community with CASE machines from Tidewater Equipment Company. The commitment of CASE fuels this work and increases our capacity to assist survivors.”
In just the first week following landfall, volunteers brought their relief operation to completion, clearing 298 obstructions across multiple counties in Florida, moving over 490 dump truck loads of debris, and allowing thousands of survivors to regain access to emergency and essential services. Throughout the operation, which continued for months after the storm’s initial impact, CASE dealers were in it for the long haul, supporting Greyshirts with critical equipment to help get the job done as quickly as possible.
“Despite all the destruction left by Idalia, we felt privileged to be in a position to help with the powerful equipment Team Rubicon needed,” said Jeff Heinemann, Director, CASE Power & Equipment, Florida. “Supporting each other in good times and bad is what we’re all about, and we’re proud to be part of a network at CASE that shares those values.”