Tuesday, August 14, 2018     Volume: 19, Issue: 23

Santa Maria Sun / Biz Spotlight

The following article was posted on October 4th, 2017, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 18, Issue 31 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 18, Issue 31

Spotlight on: Kinyon Construction's disaster relief fund

Kevin Kinyon, owner


As the rain poured down from a black Texas sky, Dale McCook, 63, prayed. The flood came fast, and no one was ready.

“In [1994], they had a major, major flood—it was the 500-year flood,” he told the Sun. “It never got close to us.”

During that storm, the McCooks couldn’t reach nearby Beaumont, but their neighborhood still sat comfortably above the water line by several feet.

Since their neighborhood was flooded by Hurricane Harvey, Dale McCook and his family have lived with friends as they try to rebuild. Kinyon Construction in Santa Maria aims to help by setting up a disaster relief fund.

“That’s why none of us had flood insurance,” he said.

When Harvey came, it brought the full-force of a 1,000-year flood event, dumping millions of gallons of water on South Texas.

In Beaumont, near the coast, the storm brought somewhere between 48 inches and 54 inches of rainfaill within hours.

“It just sat on top of us,” McCook said. “It just wouldn’t go away.”

It took 90 minutes for the water to creep up toward McCook and his family’s rural neighborhood. He said one minute his garage was dry, the next, it was 2 feet under water.

“You see those people on TV saying, ‘The water came up so fast,’ and you think they’re stupid,” McCook said. “Well, I know now, I’m one of them stupid persons.”

The McCooks were able to load up with their neighbors onto Dale’s fishing boat and made it to dry land. But the destruction to their homes, possessions, and properties was almost total.

It will take years to recover and recoup the losses.

When Kevin Kinyon of Kinyon Construction in Santa Maria heard about his lifelong friend’s plight, he knew he had to act. He quickly set about creating a disaster relief fund.

“I want to know where my money is going,” he told the Sun. “Making my own ensures that I know where every penny went.”

Kinyon said his company was planning on donating around $10,000 to help the McCooks and their neighbors rebuild.  “They’ve all been living with friends and families since the storm hit,” Kinyon said. “They need all the help they can get.”

John Wood, also with the construction company, is spearheading the fundraising efforts. He said he was working on a flyer to send out calling for donations.

“We want to help them get back on their feet and do what we can to try to reach out to people in the community and see how they can help,” Wood said.

Kinyon noted that just a little involvement from a small group of people can make a sizable contribution.

Lending support?
Do you know someone locally helping with disaster relief anywhere? The Sun wants to hear your story. Email scole@santamariasun.com.

“What if you get everybody to give 50 bucks? I mean, that’s gonna go a long way if you have 500 to 600 people doing it,” Kinyon said.

In the meantime, McCook, his family, friends, and neighbors will dig back into the soggy Southern soil and work to recover some of what they’ve lost.

There is much to be done.

Those interested in donating to the McCook Disaster Relief Fund can call John Wood at Kinyon Construction at 938-7990 to get involved or reach out to Community Bank of Santa Maria and ask about the McCook Family Hurricane Relief Fund. A GoFundMe page is also in the works under the same name.


• Local Rotarians have also been busy raising money for disaster relief across the Western Hemisphere. District Governor John Weiss told the Sun that local rotary clubs have raised around $25,000 for Houston and Florida areas devastated by hurricanes.

Staff Writer Spencer Cole wrote this week’s Business Spotlight. Send information to the Sun via fax, mail, or email at spotlight@santamariasun.com.

Weekly Poll
What can local governments do to address poverty?

Invest in affordable housing.
Better fund social services.
Rent control.
Shoot money out of cannons.

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