PORT ORANGE, Fla. — Port Orange, Fla.-based Thompson Pump last month mobilized its emergency response team to provide pumping equipment, supplies and manpower to Gulf Coast areas devastated by Hurricane Katrina. Thompson's Baton Rouge, La.; Jackson, Miss.; and Pensacola, Fla., branch locations are operational and facilitating the relief effort. Initial concentration is focused on flooding relief in the New Orleans and coastal Mississippi areas, but other operations will include getting hospitals, wastewater treatment plants, water plants, power generation facilities and refineries up and running. Thompson Pump is a 30-year veteran in disaster relief having facilitated cleanup efforts with the Exxon Valdez oil spill, the World Trade Center collapse, several flooded areas in the Midwest and hurricane damaged areas in the Southeast.
The response team called on all 18 company-wide branch locations, distributors and dealers to provide pumps and equipment. Locations as far away as Kansas City, Kan., and Providence, R.I., answered that call and on Sept. 6, 23 pumps filled with diesel fuel, and more than 3,000 feet of galvanized pipe were sent to New Orleans. Thompson Pump, working with Cajun Contractors from Baton Rouge, La., provided 18 12-inch centrifugal dry-priming pumps, one 20-inch pump, two 24-inch pumps and two 18-inch pumps. Approximately 100 to 200 feet of discharge hose were sent with each to allow for quick setup so the pumps could begin working immediately. That same day, Northrop Grumman Corp. requested six 6-inch pumps be sent to its Pascagoula, Miss., shipyard. Orders are coming in daily and will be accommodated as quickly as possible to help coastal communities combat stormwater troubles.
“Our emergency response team knows they are on call 24/7 until this crisis is under control,” said Bill Thompson, president, Thompson Pump. “All pumps, equipment, personnel and vehicles are being made available for this operation. This is not our first disaster response operation and we will utilize our experience to assist anyone in need.”
Thompson Pump also recognized the flooding concerns in the Florida Panhandle and sent pumps from its Florida rental fleet to that region immediately. On August 29, the Pensacola branch manager rushed a 12-inch vacuum-assisted pump to rescue Pensacola's main lift station that was damaged during the storm. Thompson's team helped the city's employees close the hole using boards and sand bags. The pump worked quickly to keep sewage from flooding into the city's streets. That same day, more Thompson employees were sent to the Pensacola Beach plant to set up an 8-inch vacuum-assisted pump to bypass sewage into a holding tank.
Thompson Pump is No. 41 on the RER 100.