US renters support Hurricane Irene recovery operation
By Murray Pollok05 September 2011
US rental companies acted quickly to help those affected by the massive Hurricane Irene last week. With damage expected to reach US$10 billion in value and an estimated 5 million homes without electricity, there was enormous demand for temporary power as well as pumping capacity.
Caterpillar reported that its Cat Rental Power dealers mobilised more than 500 MWs of temporary power to restore electricity to hundreds of locations along the destructive path of Irene.
Equipment was mobilised from throughout the US and Canada and over 1000 generators and 100 miles of cabling had been installed by last weekend.
"Hurricane Irene was a devastating storm that will have a lasting impact for years to come. Cat Dealers across North America began developing contingency plans and moving equipment and manpower into place long before the first rains reached the East Coast," said William J. Rohner, vice president of Caterpillar's Electric Power Division.
"Hundreds of thousands of families and businesses have the power they need thanks to the quick response from the entire Cat Dealer network and the deployment of reliable Cat Rental Power solutions that will help them return to their normal lives."
Godwin Pumps, meanwhile, said it had delivered more than 350 dri-prime pumps from eight of its east coast branches in support of municipal, industrial, and recreational flood relief operations, including controlling water levels in Citizens Bank Park, home of the Philadelphia Phillies, a major league baseball team.
"Our goal was keeping our customers above water," said Grant Salstrom, Godwin's chief operating officer, "So much so that we skipped painting the pumps our signature orange color in an effort to get them where they needed to be before they were needed. I'm sure the Phillies didn't care if it wasn't orange, as long as the bullpen stayed dry."
Godwin also rented dozens of portable diesel generators.
The American Rental Association reported on its website that some parts of the East Coast were back to ‘business as usual' for the Labor Day weekend, but that other areas continued to contend with flooding, water damage and recovering from Hurricane Irene.
Christine Wehrman, ARA's executive vice president and CEO, said the association had worked hard to provide members with advance information on the hurricane; "We are hopeful that this information aided the preparation and lessened the losses, and that it reminded everyone of the necessity to have a disaster plan in place for their business".