More than six months after Hurricane María decimated Puerto Rico, local company Thompson Pump and its workers are still on the island helping citizens recover from the aftermath of the worst storm in the island’s history.
Thompson Pump’s efforts helped save an entire community from a potentially catastrophic flood and provided safe drinking water to more than 200,000 citizens.
In the immediate aftermath of the storm, Thompson Pump was among the companies contacted to place bids on a relief contract from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Thompson subsequently was given the go-ahead by the government agency and mobilized a team of workers to Puerto Rico to formulate a strategy to help save a large community of residents living downstream from the Guajataca Dam, on the island’s western flank.
In less than 24 hours, a team of 13 Thompson Pump workers were on the ground in Puerto Rico. All told, 35 Thompson staff members have been in the area at least once during the crisis.
When the dam’s spillway failed, it caused an outpouring of water resulting in major erosion that necessitated the evacuation of 70,000 area homes. During and immediately after the storm, there was a real fear they could lose the dam entirely.
Ten complete systems consisting of 18″ pumps, suction and discharge lines, and elbows and fittings were needed to provide relief, delivered by air and by barge.
Within days of the equipment’s arrival in Puerto Rico, the first two pumps were used to reroute water from the Guajataca lake reservoir to a canal feeding three water treatment plants. The remaining eight pumps were deployed in a similar manner shortly thereafter, allowing clean water for the community’s citizens for the first time in weeks.