Hurricane Katrina: Extraordinary Need Prompts Extraordinary Response
It was 4:30 p.m. on the Friday before Labor Day when Hammer & Steel received a call from a customer in Louisiana, who was still reeling from Hurricane Katrina's impact a week earlier. Willbros RPI needed equipment and sheet piling to repair breaks in a Shell Oil pipeline running from Gonzales to Houma, west of New Orleans.
"All of the shop and yard personnel had already left for a three-day weekend," Bob Laurence, Hammer & Steel's vice president noted. He started calling workers' homes and cell phones, and found many Hammer & Steel employees were willing to give up part of their weekend for an emergency shipment.
"We shipped a vibratory hammer and about 14 loads of sheet piling on Sunday, and another 10 or 11 loads went out early the next week," Laurence says. "I'm proud we were able to react that quickly; it shows how responsive we can be to the needs of our customers."
"Willbros was very pleased with our response and impressed that the materials were delivered so quickly," notes Doug Picker of Hammer & Steel's Houston office.