Disaster relief across the southeastern U.S. and beyond.
Having the ability to prepare for rapidly changing conditions has become more important than ever.
Larry Harrington of Trans4Fed.
Diesel- and gas-powered generator sets from 20 to 2,000 kW.
Trans4fed partners with Cat® dealer Thompson Power Systems to deliver rental power where it's needed.
When lines are knocked out during storms, the ability to deliver mobile power generation is key to recovery.
When it made landfall in the Florida panhandle on October 10, 2018, Hurricane Michael was the fourth-strongest hurricane on record to hit the contiguous United States, attaining peak winds of 155 mph. Mexico Beach and Panama City suffered the worst of Michael, with catastrophic damage reported due to the extreme winds and storm surge. Numerous homes were flattened as well as entire stands of trees across the panhandle. As Michael tracked through the southeastern U.S., strong winds caused extensive power outages across the western Florida panhandle before the storm turned northeast into southern Georgia.
“This was like one large tornado. It came in fast and furious and moved through at the same speed, so there was total destruction from wind damage,” said Larry Harrington of Trans4Fed, a Mississippi-based emergency and disaster response company. “In the wake of the storm, houses, roads and critical infrastructure were gone, and it’s not like we can come in and pin up power poles. They were snapped off and all the major transmission lines were gone – roofs and houses collapsed.”
Following the destruction of Hurricane Michael, Trans4Fed partnered with Cat dealer Thompson Power Systems to deliver rental power to several businesses affected by the storm.
At the East Callaway substation 10 miles outside of the devastated coastal community of Panama City, Power South Energy Cooperative utilized a Cat XQ2000 generator set to provide power to a large segment of the population. With transmission lines down, Power South bypassed the transmission station and ran with generator power, said Lanie Sells, a substation operations and maintenance engineer.
“With the help of the Cat generator sets from Thompson Power Systems we restored power to all of our substations,” Sells said. “After the hurricane, we found out what they could supply us with and the next day they were getting them here and hooked up. So it was very quick – it all moved very fast.”
Located 12 miles south of Mexico Beach, Raffield Fisheries, Inc. specializes in seafood production. While Raffield Fisheries had an existing backup generator set to keep its freezer running, saltwater spray driven by the high winds of the storm into the windings of the generator set caused it to short out. To help keep the freezers running, Thompson Power Systems supplied the business with a Cat 1,000 kW mobile generator set.
“It ran beautifully,” Raffield said. “It came here on time and was ready to go. It was very simple. The generator set got our freezer back going and making ice for our business and the community.”
Right next door to Raffield Fisheries, Ed Wood of Wood’s Fisheries, Inc., found himself in a similar predicament. The facility had 700,000 pounds of farm-raised and Gulf shrimp that needed to be refrigerated within 48 hours, or it would be ruined. Because roads were not open to truck out the inventory, the only solution was to import mobile power as soon as possible.
Thompson Power Systems coordinated the delivery of a mobile generator set and enough fuel for the generator set to run continuously. Having power enabled Wood’s Fisheriesbto make ice and 50,000 gallons of potablebwater daily, which was made available to the community for free.
“There was no paperwork or other delays,” Wood said. “The generator set was delivered onsite within 24 hours and we had techs on the phone helping us connect it before any of that was even talked about.”
The generator set provided to Wood’s Fisheries not only preserved $5 million worth of product, but Wood says it may have also preserved his customer relationships.
“Some people may say just let the product go, because it’s the same insurance deductible either way,” Wood said. “But the biggest thing for us would be product interruption for our customers. That could prove far more costly than what the dollar value was in our freezer, because we could lose our customers. For us, having the Cat rental generator was the best form of insurance.”
Harrington says Trans4Fed relies on Cat generators to provide spot generation in the wake of disasters due to their reliability, and the dependable nature of the Cat Rental Power network. The Cat Rental Power network offers diesel and gas-powered generator sets from 20 to 2,000 kW, and possesses a substantial inventory to meet any customer need. The ability of the Cat dealer network to deliver rental power when and where it’s needed in timely fashion has been demonstrated repeatedly over the last three hurricane seasons.
“Cat generator sets have a reputation for reliability, and Thompson Power Systems is able to provide an adequate quantity of generators at the different sizes that we need to support our customers,” Harrington said. “I don’t think there’s too many of them that can do that. It’s about being prepared early on, not being caught flat-footed. Our Thompson representative does a great job understanding our needs and supporting us.”