The deadly, once-in-a-generation winter storm that left millions without power in Texas had car rental companies scrambling to maintain operations and get customers safely on their ways.
According to Marcus Echtler, Sixt’s regional VP for Texas, Sixt’s Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) location was unaffected and Houston (IAH) saw a slight slowdown, though San Antonio (SAT) was heavily impacted by the storm, mostly by loss of power and water.
“The local hero at SAT was our branch manager Cody B., who actually spent two nights at the branch because the roads were frozen over and the local hotels were without power,” Echtler wrote. “He wanted to make sure someone from Sixt was going to be able to be on site at all times for customers.”
Due to Cody’s efforts, Sixt was able to rent vehicles to stranded customers during and after hours and was able to reunite them with their loved ones in other cities, Echtler wrote.
At Airport Van Rentals (AVR), IAH was without power from the evening of Feb. 14 until early Feb. 19, according to Andrew Love, AVR’s director of operations.
Due to the airport closure and winter driving conditions, AVR closed reservations from new bookings for three days. During this time, Love wrote the branch’s general manager used a vehicle’s heat and power as an “office.”
The IAH branch opened back up fully on Feb. 19 with no new power outages.
AVR’s DFW location also experienced a power outage in addition to a burst pipe. Water was turned off at the mains to avoid flood damage. The pipe was expected to be repaired over the weekend.
The general manager and his team dug out the snow and ice on the lot and driveway with shovels, despite the lack of availability of salt at Home Depot and other stores.
Culligan Water Treatment was ultimately able to...