There are a lot of places that would make for a terrible shelter during a hurricane. Elevator shafts, abandoned buildings, or perhaps a trailer are all examples. However, during Hurricane Harvey, four bakers became trapped in their own shop – and made the most out of it.
Workers at El Bolillo Bakery in Houston, Texas were working the late shift before realizing that they were unable to leave because of high levels of water in the streets. Luckily, the bakery itself remained dry and the electricity stayed on, so the worst part of the bakers’ conundrum was what exactly to do with their lump of free time.
Some might have bemoaned their comfortable imprisonment. Others might have taken the time to relax from a routine that is normally quite grueling. Instead, the four trapped bakers worked through the night and day, baking loaves of bread and pan dulce – a Mexican sweet bread – to be delivered to shelters and stranded community members once they were able to get out.
By the time the workers were able to leave the bakery, the sheer amount of baked goods they’d made was enough to feed many people across the city. “We didn’t count exactly how many loaves they made,” said manager Brian Alverado, “but they used 4,400 pounds [1,996kg] of flour.”
24 pieces of pan dulce calls for about one and a third pounds of flour, depending on the recipe. In a typical loaf of bread, one would use one pound of flour. Assuming that both types of bread were made in equal proportions, it would amount to about 40,615 pieces of pan dulce and 2,200 loaves of bread.
The food was certainly a boon to those stranded by Harvey. A monstrous hurricane, Harvey hit Texas on August 25th as a Category 4 storm, sustaining winds of 125 miles per hour. According to Accuweather, the hurricane slowdown proved just as deadly, as some areas in Texas received over 16 inches of rain in an hour—more than a month’s worth of rainfall.
It’s suggested that Harvey has broken the Texas cyclone record, with the northern Brazoria County of Texas reporting about 49.32 inches of rain. The previous record was from Amelia in 1978, with 48 inches of rain in Medina, Texas.
Not only will economic recovery be costly to the areas affected—it is estimated that recovery will be $80 billion for Houston alone—but this tragedy will cost industries across the country as well. Harvey’s economic consequences will be felt everywhere, from those grieving the jump in gas prices to those unable to get plastics and other manufactured materials, due to the factories that have been shut down.
Despite what seems to be a very uncertain future looming ahead of them, it seems the citizens of Houston are still producing their own heroes. The four bakers were rightfully applauded on social media for their efforts.
“Hats off to you. What an inspiration you guys are,” wrote Debby Goforth on Facebook.
“Awesome job guys! Can’t say enough good things about what you’ve done for the people of Houston! Much love and respect,” added Eddie Gurbisz.
The bakers are certainly heroes. After all, not only did their baked goods aid a community in need, but to resist eating all of that pan dulce? That is a feat in and of itself.
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