Texans forced from their flooded homes by unprecedented water levels may get help rebuilding from a Canadian forestry company. Seth Kursman, a vice president with Resolute Forest Products, has committed to sending a rail car full of lumber to Houston once the storm-battered city begins to recover from the devastation wrought by Hurricane Harvey.
Watching footage from the storm-drenched city hit close to home for Kursman, who moved to Canada from Houston 15 years ago. “I just can’t imagine the devastation,” he said, noting he saw images of his old neighborhood, flooded, on the news. “I was really personally moved.”
Wanting to help, he called the Montreal-based company’s CEO, Richard Garneau, and suggested they prepare to send a truck filled with lumber to the beleaguered city once the flood waters subside. Resolute’s main products are paper and pulp, Kursman said, but he thought lumber would be of more use to the struggling communities.
“He said ‘Forget a truck! Send a rail car,'” Kursman said. “I mean, that’s a lot of money worth of lumber.” The former Texan said he’s already spoken with politicians in both Houston and the U.S. government who have expressed appreciation.
The gesture comes at a tense time in softwood lumber negotiations between Canada and the United States. Canada’s ambassador to Washington said last week that the country could pursue legal action in the lumber fight if ongoing talks for a new softwood deal stall.