A hurricane’s aftermath and communities coming back online

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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.

A Bay Ltd. construction worker listens to a safety briefing ahead of a day of volunteering. The crew was in San Patricio County, near Corpus Christi, to help clean up storm debris at the direction of the Gulf Coast Growth Ventures Project, a project under study by ExxonMobil and SABIC.
A Bay Ltd. construction worker helps clear downed trees in San Patricio County, near Corpus Christi.
San Patricio County residents work to remove a downed tree after Hurricane Harvey passed through the area near Corpus Christi.
Members of the ExxonMobil volunteer fire department at the Baytown refinery load a helicopter with water for residents in Beaumont.
An aerial view of flooding in Beaumont.
Workers at the Baytown refinery prepare the docks to receive incoming vessels and barges.
An ExxonMobil docks mechanical process supervisor surveys equipment within the Baytown refinery.
ExxonMobil employees in Baytown staffed phone banks to help identify and meet the recovery needs of their co-workers.
ExxonMobil volunteers Bill Blaise and Nick Stefero removed damaged wallboard from flooded homes in the Houston area.
Employees help distribute 30,000 bottles of water and about 400 pounds of toiletries in Beaumont.
An ExxonMobil employee at the company’s South Houston terminal watches a fuel truck load up supplies to deliver to area service stations.
A team of ExxonMobil employees assesses the South Houston terminal restart after the heavy rains.
ExxonMobil and independent business owners of branded service stations worked around the clock to get service stations up and running after the storm. Furthermore, ExxonMobil’s U.S. Branded Wholesale Network, which operates more than 11,000 Exxon and Mobil service stations across the country, has organized a relief fund to help impacted communities and is well on the road to reaching its goal of $2 million.
Tags:   BaytownBeaumontCorpus ChristiHurricane Harvey
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