Smithfield-based disaster restoration firm tackles Harvey damage

Smithfield-based disaster restoration firm tackles Harvey damage

Enviro-Clean Inc. project managers Alex Blackburn and John Tavarez are part of an eight-member team that traveled to Texas to assist with restoration and decontamination.

SMITHFIELD – When Jack Anderson saw the damage left in Hurricane Harvey’s wake, he made the decision to come out of retirement as the owner of Smithfield-based disaster restoration firm Enviro-Clean Inc., and help out with the disaster.

“We are in the business of helping people,” said Eric Anderson, Jack’s son and the current owner of Enviro-Clean Inc. Though not a volunteer operation, “we’re fortunate enough that we get to do that.”

The company has been helping homeowners cope with fire, wind, mold, and water damage since 1983.

“Our job is to put people’s lives together after disaster,” Anderson said.

Jack Anderson came out of retirement to make the 30-hour drive to Corpus Christi, Texas, on Aug. 28. He’s joined by eight Enviro-Clean employees who are going home to home completing dryouts and decontaminations. A portion of the company’s operations were essentially moved to Texas to help address the massive challenges in the Lone Star State.

This is not a first for the New England company. Employees drove to Louisiana when Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005 and traveled to Florida following Hurricane Wilma that same year.

But Anderson said the dire situation in Texas is new.

“We haven’t seen anything like this,” he said.

When the Enviro-Clean crew arrived in Texas, they learned that while their hotel had power, it did not have running water. Hotel staffers said they could innovate and shower in the pool.

Then there was the matter of finding enough fuel for the six trucks and eight trailers, as well as power for equipment.

The Enviro-Clean team anticipated having difficulties. Anderson said employees wanted to go anyway.

“We’ve got a great team, and we just love what we do,” he said.

Floodwaters still swamp large parts of Texas. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration estimates that damage may eclipse the cost of Katrina, and the death total is upwards of 50.

Hurrican Harvey tore through homes in Southeast Texas, leaving floodwater and debris in its wake. Enviro-Clean Inc., which specializes in disaster restoration, deployed a team to work in Texas.