Mattress Mack, the owner of Gallery Furniture in Houston, which housed hundreds of people in its warehouse during the winter storm in Texas, has launched a severe weather rescue truck to be used to save people from flooded areas and other severe weather events.
“We’re excited to have this high-water rescue truck so if we have any other problems in Houston, we can go rescue people and bring them to Gallery Furniture,” Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale told KTRK. “Because of our commitment, we have to have a responsibility for the wellbeing of the community, and this truck will help us fulfil that commitment.”
The truck is designed with the store’s logo and a cartoon version of Mr McIngvale’s face. The words “Mattress Mack has got your back” are emblazoned on the side.
The truck can drive through 55 inches of water, has heating, air conditioning and hydraulic lifts.
“I don’t know if I’m man enough to drive it, but someone can drive it and I’ll sit there and ride in the back with all the folks,” Mr McIngvale told KTRK.
Mr McIngvale has thrown open the doors to his mattress store during previous severe weather events to provide shelter to Texans in need, as he did during Hurricane Harvey in 2017 and during the winter storm earlier this year.
The vehicle was built by General Truck Body. Company representative Beau Evans told KTRK: “Being a local company, he's a hometown hero of ours.
“It was a real honour to get to work with the whole team and to be able to provide a piece of equipment to the Gallery Furniture team and Mack to help them promote more and more good things for the city during these natural disasters.”
The Atlantic hurricane season began on 1 June.
The winter storm in Texas earlier this year left millions without power and the estimated number of deaths is beyond 100.
“We’re here to benefit the community, that’s what we’ve always done, and we have a responsibility for the wellbeing of the community, we’re trying to live up to that,” Mr McIngvale told Fox News in February.
The McIngvale family, well-known among Houstonians, has raised money for charity and has spent large amounts on sporting events. Mr McIngvale’s wife, Linda McIngvale, was part of the effort to find the nine-month-old tiger which was briefly roaming the Houston area in May, Fox 26 reported.
“I was able to arrange ... for the tiger to be located and anonymously delivered to us where BARC [Animal Shelter and Adoptions] was on stand-by to receive,” she said in a statement last month. “We are happy that the tiger is now safe and with the sanctuary.”
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