Company’s response team comes to victims’ aid in wake of May Tennessee and Kentucky floods
Company’s response team comes to victims’ aid in wake of May Tennessee and Kentucky floods The Smith & Loveless Response Team was on site and on call to help victims of the floods caused by the rise of the Cumberland River and other bodies of water in the Southeast on May 1 and 2, 2010. Extensive damage not only ruined homes and property, but it severely affected infrastructure relied upon daily by thousands of people to convey potable and wastewater.
As a manufacturer of pumping equipment for this infrastructure grid and with numerous installations in the region, Smith & Loveless resolved to assist as many cities as possible in the two weeks following the flood. Smith & Loveless personnel were on site on May 3 in Tennessee and Kentucky to assess pump stations and to assist municipal customers with their insurance company and disaster personnel from FEMA.
Retrofit Manager Tim Paulsen, who traveled to Columbia, Ky., a day after the flooding ceased, described how one particular shallow creek in Kentucky--one that a person could essentially walk across--rose approximately 30 ft and took out a levee.
“They were more or less in shock that this creek could rise so high, so quickly,” Paulsen said. “But they were happy that we got there quickly to assist them.”
A week later, Smith & Loveless dispatched additional personnel with a truckload of parts to assist one of the more devastated areas in Central Tennessee. These technicians addressed numerous Smith & Loveless pump stations and ensured all were online before they left the region. The objective on site was to get them running on automatic until long-term decisions could be made. Field service technicians worked on setting up basic control systems to allow wastewater to be pumped from homes once potable water systems were back online.
Back at the home office in Lenexa, Kan., the Smith & Loveless Response Team contacted hundreds of other municipalities to provide guidance on how to get their equipment back up and running and to see what other assistance the team could provide. For two weeks, they remained consistently busy answering the phones, researching installation records, and providing information to customers in the affected areas by whatever means possible. The hard work did not go unnoticed.
“The ruination was worse than [Hurricane] Katrina. Not as consistent throughout like Katrina, but in spots, the damage was as bad as I’ve seen,” said Jim Corder, a Smith & Loveless field service technician. “People [affected by the flood] were very appreciative that we got the [equipment] back up. They were bringing us refreshments, allowing us to use their hose for cleaning and thanking us.”