Forecasters predicted that the 2004 Hurricane Season was to be an active one. Within the span of two months, Tropical Storm Bonnie and Hurricanes Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne slammed Florida’s Gulf and Atlantic coasts bringing heavy winds, large amounts of rain and storm surges that threatened coastal residences and businesses. Damage caused by the hurricanes could be felt throughout the State of Florida. Some residents had to cope with losing homes, vehicles, loved ones, as well as communications and power for extended periods of time. Just as soon as one hurricane passed, news of another system forming in the Atlantic and it’s projected path, usually headed straight for Florida, caused residents to make further preparations. Residents living on either coast, along with residents in low-lying areas and mobile or manufactured homes were asked to evacuate as many as three times.
Resources were also at a minimum as each hurricane passed. Gas shortages were experienced throughout the state as residents topped off their fuel tanks in preparation of evacuation. Once gas was available, long lines of vehicles waiting for their turn at the pump was experienced. Staples such as milk, bread, eggs and coffee were also at a minimum. The lack of power experienced after each hurricane caused many supermarkets to throw away thousands of dollars of food. Plywood was also in short supply between the hurricanes. Residents were seen boarding their windows to protect their homes from heavy winds and airborne debris.
Flooding was another major issue experienced due to the aftermath of the hurricanes. Floodwaters from the heavy rains and rising rivers threatened homes and businesses. Rising waters also blocked roadways and swept debris throughout the area. Flooding was also responsible for the loss of public utilities in many areas – sewer systems, treatment plants, lift stations, power lines, power plants and more.
Thompson Pump’s Emergency Response Team (ERT) went into action before the start of hurricane season in anticipation of the inevitable flooding. The ERT issued a company-wide alert to its branches and its nationwide distributor network that pumps would be required quickly. As each storm passed, and the location and the extent of the flooding became apparent, Thompson Pump’s ERT mobilized the pumps and the necessary hose assemblies to remove the water.
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