Garyville, Louisiana,
11:13 PM

MPC responds to devasting Louisiana flooding

Garyville came together like a family, and Marathon also stepped up to help as a company. We were very appreciative of the resources provided by CERT and everyone who came to help.
Garyville refinery General Manager Tracy Case

Rain isn’t unusual in Louisiana, but what happened from August 8-14 was unprecedented. While the areas right around Marathon Petroleum Corporation’s (MPC’s) refinery in Garyville, Louisiana, received nearly a foot of rain, just down Airline Highway toward Gonzales and Baton Rouge, some areas recorded between two and three feet of rain. Overall, 6.9 trillion gallons of rain soaked Southeast Louisiana, resulting in areas well outside flood plains that had never before flooded suddenly being underwater. That also meant many of those affected had not carried flood insurance.

The tens of thousands of flooded homes statewide included a total of 84 Garyville employees who had flood waters in their homes. Over 200 employees, more than 20 percent of the refinery’s workforce, received cleaning supplies to aid in flood recovery.

MPC jumped in quickly to help, first by making sure all employees were safe and accounted for, and then assessing needs. A Corporate Emergency Response Team (CERT) headed south from Findlay, Ohio, to coordinate a humanitarian response. Over the course of the following week, “Operation Pelican” distributed supplies to employees from a warehouse at the refinery and another at a Cabela’s parking lot, procured temporary housing, located alternative day care arrangements, found storage solutions, and set up a website to match donations of personal belongings such as tools, clothes and furniture to families that needed them.

Meanwhile, the company offered up to $10,000 in interest-free loans and personal absence days to affected employees to help begin the cleanup and recovery processes. More than 100 employees unaffected by the storm volunteered to help distribute supplies, rip out soggy drywall, and help with cleaning up at fellow employees’ homes.

For the wider community, the refinery’s Operations Domain 5 spearheaded the effort to cook and distribute over 700 meals in St. Amant, one of the hardest hit areas, and helped clean up the firehouse there. MPC also made a $250,000 corporate donation to assist the United Way and other local agencies.

Throughout it all, the refinery kept running seamlessly. “A situation like this brings out the best in everyone, and as a company, our project management skills also shine,” notes Garyville refinery General Manager Tracy Case. “Garyville came together like a family, and MPC also stepped up to help as a company. We were very appreciative of the resources provided by CERT and everyone who came to help.”