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Tornado Outbreak: Sunbelt Rentals Powers Plant After Outage

On April 27, 2011, 62 powerful tornadoes ripped through Alabama. This cluster of storms was part of the worst tornado outbreak in U.S. history, with many of them tearing paths across the Southeast and Midwest. A record 758 tornadoes and 553 deaths were reported in April. In Alabama, one of the hardest hit states, the severe storms left behind more than $2 billion worth of damage.

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In the wake of the devastating 2011 tornado outbreak, massive power outages crippled entire communities. One of the world’s largest polymer processing plants got knocked offline in Cullman, Ala. The outage forced the chemical plant to shut down production.

Faced with the potential for significant revenue losses, the polymer processing facility reached out to Sunbelt Rentals’ Utility Power Services team for emergency power. Within eight hours of the initial call, crews and power generation equipment arrived at the Alabama chemical plant. The team assessed the situation and immediately initiated the power restoration process to minimize the impact of the disruption.

The scope of work and rental equipment included:

  • Provision of 10,000 kW of reliable power

  • 50,000 feet of cable

  • 24/7 on site support and fueling services

Coordination was the key to a successful restoration. Our crews handled all of the logistics including transportation and refueling. All equipment was fully operational within 48 hours. After the initial restoration of power, our backup generators powered the plant around the clock for the next five days until the facility’s primary power source was fully restored. The rapid rehabilitation
effort proved critical for the chemical plant, community and its stakeholders, helping the facility regain power as quickly as possible.

Sunbelt Rentals prompt response to the plant’s outage not only showcased an unmatched level of mobility and effectiveness, but kept the plant safe until normal operations could be resumed. Backed by Sunbelt Rentals national network of locations, the UPS team delivers high standards that utility customers have come to expect. Our UPS team is here to help you through natural disasters with emergency power solutions.


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