Pine Island truck driver heads to Texas to deliver supplies - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Pine Island truck driver heads to Texas to deliver supplies


Natural disasters like hurricanes wash away people's livelihoods, with cars and houses gone in a matter of hours.

Sometimes lives are lost. But it's how people band together to help those who have lost everything that shows the true strength of America.

A Pine Island truck driver is one American helping out his fellow brothers and sisters in Texas after Hurricane Harvey hit parts of the state.

If you were to drive around Beaumont, Texas, piles of debris and gallons of misplaced water are two traces you would find of an unwanted landscape from Harvey.

"The worst thing I've ever seen," said Larry Kautz, a Pine Island truck driver.

Kautz saw Mother Nature's power firsthand when he traveled to Texas last week.

"Water. I mean everything's under water. There's a few roads up higher that were okay but a lot of water. Just horrible."

As a truck driver, he's seen his fair share on the open road. "You got lots of time to think about a lot of things that's for sure." But nothing compares to what he saw in Beaumont.

"I did Katrina, which I thought was bad, and it was, but this one was worse."

Kautz helped deliver supplies to victims of three other natural disasters before Harvey, including Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Most recently, Kautz delivered a semi-truck full of supplies to the Lone Star state last week. He headed back to Texas a second time on Monday.

"People really step up and you see the good and wish it didn't take a natural disaster for this to show it," said Jeff Schroeder, a member of the Pine Island Lions Club.

Schroeder knew about Kautz' trip to Texas last week. He contacted Kautz' wife, who's also a member of the Lions Club, and asked if Kautz was thinking about taking a second trip back to the Gulf Coast. He was pleased to hear Kautz would be willing to make another 1,132 mile drive.

"He's a pretty big-hearted individual," said Schroeder. 

This time, Kautz will deliver two semi-trucks filled with donated supplies to Magnolia Baptist Church located in Beaumont. Kautz and a team of others have been collecting the supplies for less than a week.

People from as north as Lakeville came to BevComm in Pine Island to donate cleaning supplies, personal care, clothes, non-perishable food, baby items, paper goods, and pet supplies for Harvey victims.

Schroeder cannot join Kautz on the road to Texas, but is pleased with all of the generous donations.

"The Lions motto is: we serve. We try hard to live up to our motto."

According to Kautz, victims in Beaumont will be pleased to see all the donations from their friends in the north.

"[The victims] are looking forward for the stuff to come in because they said they haven't received many things," said Kautz.

He will drive one semi-truck down with his pet dog, Mister, riding in his lap. One of his friends will follow behind in the second 18-wheeler.

The men plan to be in Texas on Wednesday morning.


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