Hero Daniel Harmon: Helping Kentucky Flood Victims Whose Homes Washed Away

Hero Daniel Harmon: Serving to Kentucky Flood Victims Whose Houses Washed Away

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Daniel Harmon understood what folks in Kentucky had been confronting when flooding overwhelmed elements of the state in July. The West Virginia native is aware of how heavy rains can wreak havoc on a area, when water with nowhere to go overflows creeks and rivers, inflicting mudslides and devastation. It’s occurred earlier than in his state. When he noticed it taking place to neighboring Kentucky, he wished to assist.

A 35-year trucking trade veteran — he works as a senior supervisor in Charleston, W.Va., with XPO Logistics, and serves as each treasurer and an officer on the West Virginia Trucking Affiliation — Harmon spent his early profession in southeastern Kentucky. So he sympathized deeply with the flood victims.

“I knew these little cities,” he stated.

From July 25-30, thunderstorms over jap Kentucky and central Appalachia introduced as a lot as a foot of rain, sweeping away extensive swaths of communities and full houses. The swollen Kentucky River reached record-breaking ranges, cresting to 21 ft at Whitesburg — topping a 1957 file of 14.7 ft — and reaching 43.5 ft in Jackson, simply over the prior excessive of 43.1 ft set in 1939, based on the Nationwide Climate Service. Forty folks died on account of the storms.

An XPO truck able to be unloaded in Neon, Ky., to offer help. (Jeremy Lemaster) 

The flooding left 178,000 tons of particles over roads and in waterways. Greater than 170 public bridges had been destroyed, and 28 state roads had been blocked.

Harmon understood each the significance and problem of transporting support to the area. He reached out to WVTA chairman Bryan Christian of Pilot Tomas Logistics to debate how the state’s truckers may assist.

Trucking’s Frontline Heroes is an annual award collection offered by Transport Subjects that acknowledges the courageous women and men who go above and past the decision of obligation to fulfill the challenges the trade confronted over the previous 12 months. In 2022 we acknowledge:
Sergey Bort
Daniel Harmon 
Look again at previous years’ heroes

“We got here up with a plan,” Harmon stated. “The very first thing we would have liked was vans, and a strategy to get them down there. And XPO graciously allowed me to make use of the tools to gather [public donations].”

“These of us down in Kentucky actually misplaced every little thing they’d,” Harmon stated, a degree he careworn to the XPO staff working to assist. “Simply think about you get up within the morning and all you have got are the garments in your again. Every little thing you had if you went to mattress is gone,’” Harmon instructed them.

The ensuing joint WTVA/XPO effort, named the “Serving to Our Neighbors Marketing campaign,” launched at three XPO places between Aug. 11th of September to gather donations of bottled water, cleansing provides, private hygiene gadgets and child merchandise. Spurred by native information and social media reviews, donations totaling greater than $10,000 crammed three trailers. One man from a far-off group mailed Harmon a $500 verify to purchase provides, which he did.

XPO drivers delivered totally loaded trailers to Whitesburg, Manchester, and Neon, KY. Based on Harmon, drivers reported deep dust sludge alongside streets; one driver stated it was the worst pure catastrophe he’d ever seen.

President Joe Biden declared counties within the affected area a serious catastrophe space. Greater than 6,550 people and households had been accepted for $53.6 million in housing help by the Federal Emergency Administration Company.

“Everyone converged to rise up in there and get stuff,” Harmon stated of those that approached the XPO vans as they arrived. “They had been orderly, separating it so folks might come by and get the issues they wanted.”


“Everyone converged to rise up in there and get stuff,” Harmon stated of those that approached the XPO vans as they arrived. (Jeremy Lemaster)

For his efforts in organizing support for these affected by these devastating Kentucky floods, Daniel Harmon is a 2022 recipient of the Transport Subjects Trucking’s Frontline Heroes Award.

“From the second Daniel Harmon turned concerned with the West Virginia Trucking Affiliation virtually 15 years in the past, he has been a trusted chief and advisor,” stated affiliation President Traci Nelson. She describes Harmon as,“the voice of purpose within the room, [who] gives commonsense options which have helped information the affiliation by tough instances.”

Nelson added, “We are not any strangers to the devastation that floods could cause, having skilled a number of in West Virginia. All these endeavors could be overwhelming to coordinate, however after talking with Daniel concerning the logistics of gathering gadgets and his plan for the supply of the gadgets, I knew that he would ensure that this marketing campaign wouldn’t solely achieve success however could be carried out seamlessly.”


The hassle collected sufficient donations of bottled water, cleansing provides, private hygiene gadgets and child merchandise to fill three trailers. (Courtesy of Daniel Harmon)

Harmon has a deep background in trucking to information him. He adopted within the footsteps of his father, a trucking service heart supervisor. “I grew up round trucking with my dad. I wished nothing greater than to do what he did and my want got here true,” Harmon mirrored. Previous to his 1989 commencement from Marshall College with a bachelor’s of enterprise administration, Harmon obtained a job at Con-way as an outbound supervisor and “by no means seemed again.” XPO acquired Con-way in 2015. “I’ve been concerned [in trucking] for 35 years,” Harmon stated. “It’s the one job I’ve ever had.”

“Daniel has been managing our LTL service heart in Charleston for a few years, and he’s stepped up numerous instances for the group,” stated Tim Staroba, president of XPO’s East Division for LTL. “By taking the initiative to assist with flood aid efforts in Kentucky, Daniel’s doing what he does greatest — rising to a problem and main his staff to resolve a necessity. XPO is pleased with Daniel and your entire Charleston staff for dwelling our values.”

Stated Harmon, “I’m glad I helped. I stepped up and helped these of us out, and greater than probably it’s made a distinction.”

At all times keen to assist, Harmon stated he and his spouse every month volunteer at soup kitchens by their church. He encourages others to assist these in want.

“What folks must know is it doesn’t take that a lot time to make a distinction,” he stated. “That’s the best way it’s more often than not when folks assist one another.”

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