Taking a work call upstairs at home to find quiet from the domestic buzz downstairs is normal. But, the past two weeks along the Texas Gulf Coast have been anything but normal.
As Hurricane Harvey pounded Southeast Texas, many ExxonMobil employees coordinated the security of some of the country’s most critical energy assets from their bedrooms upstairs, while their living rooms downstairs flooded.
In many cases, employees pored over technical blueprints of the Baytown and Beaumont facilities while floodwaters poured through their kitchens. Those working from home relayed their expertise to their colleagues who were temporarily living in those refineries, separated from their families.
“While their homes were being flooded, they were in our [Baytown] refinery, working to keep critical processes up and running so that when the storm passed, we could start the recovery pretty quickly,” ExxonMobil CEO Darren Woods told CNBC on Thursday morning.
Today, as greater Southeast Texas continues the early recovery process, the work to meet America’s energy demands is also ongoing, coordinated by hundreds of employees who are simultaneously meeting the needs of their communities and families.
“The stories [of focus and dedication] are humbling,” Woods added.
The company continues to work on restarting the Baytown refinery and chemical facilities. In Beaumont, ExxonMobil is developing plans for restarting the refinery, and the chemical plant continues to make progress toward a restart. The blending and packaging lubricants plant is back up and running, and ramping up to full production capacity. Meanwhile, workers are initiating start-up activities at the polyethylene plant.
From Corpus Christi to Houston and Baytown to Beaumont, families are taking stock and communities are surveying the damage. The acts of volunteerism – both from within the company and across the affected communities – will continue.
Below, see what represents only a small fraction of the volunteer and recovery stories taking place.