COVER: Salesman Scotty Guerrero stands in front of Diane Flack Furniture which is collecting used furniture for victims of the Memorial Day weekend flood. PHOTO by PRESLIE COX/THE UNIVERSITY STAR
by MARIAH SIMANK
A local San Marcos family has learned the best way to cope with the loss of their home is by giving back to other flood victims in the community.
Derrick and Angie Flack, owners of Dianne Flack Furniture, have begun collecting new and gently used furniture to help individuals looking to replace damaged items. Derrick Flack said they recently purchased a 40-foot container so that anyone looking to donate can easily drop off their items.
“Being a flood victim inspired me to give back to the community,” Derrick Flack said. “We lost our home and all of the contents to the floodwaters, so we know what that need is like.”
According to KVUE, the Flacks’ small community of Martindale was heavily affected by the flooding, with close to 50 homes in the 1,200-person community destroyed.
The couple and their three children are one of the families picking up the pieces after floodwaters swept away their belongings.
Angie Flack said she and her husband were at their home in Martindale as a wall of water made its way down the Blanco River.
“I just started hearing this thundering sound, and then this big wall of water came up in our yard literally within seconds,” Angie Flack said. “I jumped into the back of our truck and my husband drove about a hundred down our road.”
When they arrived at the front of their property, Angie Flack said she realized the bridge that would normally take them to safety was covered with water.
As a helicopter watched from above, Angie Flack said her husband decided he had to go for it.
“Water was coming at us both ways at this point, and normally we would never have gone over the bridge like that,” Angie Flack said. “We got across it and then our truck stalled and died, but we made it.”
Angie Flack said providing a place for people to donate and flood victims to collect from was a great way for the family to take their mind off their own tragedy.
“I remember a couple days after the flood I was sitting there and I was just in shock, like I’m sure everybody else was,” Angie Flack said. “To me, the only way to make something good out of this was to try to do something good.”
Derrick Flack said many individuals who were affected by the flood have inquired about the furniture.
“We are on our fourth container of furniture donations,” Derrick Flack said. “The container of furniture comes and goes at a rapid pace.”
Derrick Flack said there is no paperwork required to receive the furniture. Instead, both he and his wife have decided to leave the doors open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“We have chosen not to try to be the police or monitoring group, and instead we are allowing people to come on an honor system and take what they need on a first-come-first-serve basis,” Derrick Flack said. “We took all of the locks off the container and it is open 24 hours a day, and we have no pre-qualifying stipulations on any of this.”
Angie Flack said Memorial Day weekend is typically one of the best weekends of the year for furniture sales. This year, sales were down 98 percent as a result of the flood.
“That’s not where people’s hearts were at,” Angie Flack said. “Instead, our community pulled together and got out there to help other people.”
Derrick Flack said the first week after the flood was challenging, but sales have slowly started to bounce back.
“Obviously because of this disaster people were not thinking about buying furniture,” Derrick Flack said. “We are still down compared to last June, but is getting better.”
Angie Flack said they hope to turn the furniture donations and collections into a long-term program.
MARIAH SIMANK reports for The University Star, the student newspaper of Texas State University, where this story was originally published. It is made available here through a news partnership between the University Star and the San Marcos Mercury.Email | Print