Thompson Pump and Manufacturing Company has been recognized as the winner of the 2019 Engineering News-Record (ENR) Award of Merit in the Water/Environment category, the company announced. The acknowledgement was bestowed upon the company for its work in Puerto Rico during the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Maria, which made landfall in September of 2017.
In the weeks and months after their arrival in Puerto Rico, the Thompson Pump crew’s efforts helped save an entire community from a potentially catastrophic flood and provided safe drinking water to more than 200,000 people.
“It’s such an honor to be recognized for the work we did in Puerto Rico,” says Bobby Zitzka, Thompson Pump’s national sales manager. “The destruction we encountered was unimaginable. Without hesitation our team, both on the ground in Puerto Rico and home in Florida, immediately got to work to make sure we could do whatever was possible to help the people through this extremely challenging time.”
The 150 mile-per-hour sustained winds and 30-plus inches of rain from Hurricane Maria caused a shocking path of destruction. The company says the efforts of employees and the use of its equipment made a tremendous impact.
A team of 13 Thompson Pump workers arrived in Puerto Rico soon after the storm and got to work. One of their first tasks was formulating a strategy to help save a large community of residents living downstream from the Guajataca Dam. The dam’s spillway failed during the hurricane, causing an outpouring of water that brought about major erosion, necessitating the evacuation of 70,000 area homes. Conditions were so dire that, during and immediately after the storm, there was a real fear they could lose the dam entirely.
As Thompson Pump lowered the dam’s water level, thus alleviating the possibility of major flooding, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials realized Thompson’s workers and equipment could be utilized for yet another vital purpose: providing drinking water for almost a quarter of a million people desperate for it.
Thompson Pump employees look back upon their time in Puerto Rico as an unforgettable experience: seeing the devastation left behind by the storm, the resilience and gratitude of the people, and the satisfaction of knowing they had a positive impact on thousands of lives.
Thompson — family owned since 1970 — manufactures a variety of pumps ranging in size from two to 18 inches and with capacities up to 14,000 gpm. The Florida-based company sells and rents its entire line to customers in sectors including public works, construction, agriculture and mining. The company operates 21 branches throughout the United States and has a worldwide network of distributors. It also has achieved ISO 9001 quality certification for their Port Orange, Fla., manufacturing facility. For more information, call 800-767-7310 or visit www.thompsonpump.com.