On Sept. 20, 2017, the world watched as Category 5 Hurricane Maria lashed its turbulent winds and torrential rains throughout the beautiful island of Puerto Rico. And then there was dark, leaving almost 1.5 million people without power. In the wake of Maria, the damage was catastrophic. The destruction to homes, other buildings and infrastructure has been devastating. The cost to repair the damage to Puerto Rico is estimated to be upward of $95 billion. The energy power system was greatly affected, where the transmission and distribution grids were completely annihilated.
At International Cooling Tower (ICT), its team is armed with a hurricane preparedness plan. The company’s Gulf Coast regional facilities store the materials and equipment required for these types of disasters, and they are ideally positioned to respond immediately. ICT’s team placed a bid, and it was awarded all the cooling tower repair and replacement work on the island. After it was awarded the project, ICT quickly went to work. Together with its local representation on the island, ICT dispatched teams to assess the damage and rapidly began to engineer, design and provide an execution plan for the safest, most efficient and most cost-effective path to support the power companies in restoring service to optimum operating conditions.
ICT has been serving its customers since 1958 and fully appreciates the needs of its customers — and in this emergency situation, the immediate need to restore power to the communities of people who were without the very basic needs of water, power, medical services and food. ICT had many challenges to conquer with respect to timing and logistics, but it quickly went to work to find solutions to get materials and equipment delivered to Puerto Rico and provide the resources to tackle the tasks at hand. ICT provided the highest-quality materials and applied the best-suited technology and top-notch boots-on-the-ground workers to ensure the successful completion of all projects. Most importantly, ICT construction crews worked together with the local Puerto Rican people to help get the island back on its feet.
As ICT has grown and left its footprint throughout Canada, the U.S., Mexico and now Puerto Rico, it continues to be extremely proud of the rich diversity and cultural inclusiveness that proved to be of the utmost importance for working in Puerto Rico. ICT was able to send some of its senior-level, experienced Spanish speaking supervisors to oversee work crews, allowing for notable savings in time, money and resources. This also allowed for easy communication with the Puerto Rican people and in fact provided employment for over 80 local craft workers for the duration of the projects.