Former resident helps Harvey disaster area


LEAGUE CITY, Texas — For one former Sidney resident, Hurricane Harvey has been an opportunity to give back.

Paul Deitz, president of Kix Internet in a southeast Houston suburb, has been providing free Internet service to hurricane victims in the Kix service area. On Friday, he and his team were working to establish an Internet connection at Hitchcock Independent School and another shelter in Hitchock, Texas, which is about 40 miles southeast of Houston on the coast.

“(Users) really benefit from the fact that they can call for FEMA or search for housing. They can really plan or just keep in regular contact with people through Facebook if they don’t have data,” he said.

Deitz has been a resident of League City, Texas, since May 28, 2013, when he moved there from Sidney. He used to be an owner of Imagine Networks in Troy, before he sold it to his partner. Deitz was recently back in Shelby County, but flew home in time to help with the disaster relief. He said Friday that the weather was “beautiful,” but that flooding was still an issue.

“The weather is beautiful, has been for the past couple days,” he said. “If someone flew in right now, they would see that our roads are higher and you can get around. We drove to Dallas and back with no problem, because that was all highway, but the side roads are still flooded.”

Deitz noted that the Kix office, in a League City marina, was not affected since it was on the second floor.

“The electricity went out and our marina was flooded,” he said. “We were blessed to not be affected really. We never lost power. Anyone on our network never lost connectivity. If they had electricity, they had Internet.”

Deitz’s fiancee, Karen Murray, is an emergency medical technician in Galveston. Deitz said that Murray and her coworkers had been working around the clock to provide care and relief to the area.

“She put in 48 hours in three days, and made it home Friday, but was stuck until Wednesday,” Deitz said. “She worked in the area, because it was flooded, and everyone (at her hospital) is working extra shifts.”

Deitz said the hardest part of providing Internet to the shelters is letting people know it’s there.

“If they’re out of service, they don’t know,” he said. “But the best part is the gratification. After being down here for five years, you can see the Texas pride and spirit. Even in a disaster situation, you can see everybody puts others first and really provides for each other.”

.neFileBlock {
margin-bottom: 20px;
}
.neFileBlock p {
margin: 0px 0px 0px 0px;
}
.neFileBlock .neFile {
border-bottom: 1px dotted #aaa;
padding-bottom: 5px;
padding-top: 10px;
}
.neFileBlock .neCaption {
font-size: 85%;
}

The marina where the Kix offices are located after Hurricane Harvey hit shows no parking lot. The Kix offices are on the second floor of the building and did not suffer flood damage.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2017/09/web1_MarinaAfter.jpgThe marina where the Kix offices are located after Hurricane Harvey hit shows no parking lot. The Kix offices are on the second floor of the building and did not suffer flood damage.

The marina where the Kix offices are located before Hurricane Harvey includes a parking lot with cars clearly visible.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2017/09/web1_MarinaBefore.jpgThe marina where the Kix offices are located before Hurricane Harvey includes a parking lot with cars clearly visible.

By Heather Willard

hwillard@sidneydailynews.com

Reach the writer at 937-538-4825.