A group of bakers trapped by Hurricane Harvey at their bakery did what they do best: they baked - for days. The bakers at El Bolillo Bakery in Houston made thousands of loaves of bread over two days which they gave to those caught up in the storm.
"They started making bread and Saturday night it rained so bad that they got trapped," owner Kirk Michaelis told USA Today. The group decided to ride out the storm at the South Wayside Drive branch by baking, which they knew "was going to be needed," Michaelis added.
The crew was stranded at the bakery from Saturday (26 August) afternoon to Monday (28 August) afternoon, according to USA Today. They baked thousands of loaves of bread, including the bakery's bolillos bread, kolaches and sheets of their signature pan dulce (sweet bread).
Store manager Brian Alvarado told The Washington Post that the trapped bakers watched as the floodwaters approached the doors of the bakery but luckily ever seeped in. The store also never lost electricity. At night, the bakers slept on the floor, the Post reported.
Michaelis reportedly attempted to rescue the workers on Sunday (27 August) but was turned around by police. When the owner finally reached the group on Monday, he was shocked.
"By the time the owner managed to get to them, they had made so much bread that we took the loaves to loads of emergency centres across the city for people affected by the floods," Alvarado told The Independent.
The bakery's display cases were filled with bread and large containers were packed with pan dulce, while bolillos filled the counters.
"That's when we took the image and they had made so much bread," Alvarado said. "We were not expecting to come in here and see every single display case full of bread."
The bakery then dealt with a different kind of flooding—that of support from around the world for the kind gesture. According to the Post, a man in Cincinnati, Ohio came across the bakers' story and offered to donate money to help offset the bakery's and employees' costs.
"Your act of humanity is what we should all aspire to be and achieve," he wrote, according to an image posted by the bakery.
Alvarado said that although they did not count how many loaves were baked, he estimated that more around 4,000 pieces of bread were baked.
"They just couldn't handle the stress and they needed to do something, so they just made bread," he told the Post. "They were just thinking of everybody else, and they just started making bread for the community."
Alvarado said the bread was delivered to different shelters and a nearby police station. The four bakers were later reunited with their families.