Customer Success:

Hurricane Sandy Response

“They did repairs onsite, and within 48 hours our critical systems were back online.”

Lou DiGiamo

Building Plant Manager

AIG – 175 Water Street, New York

OBJECTIVES

SOLUTION

RESULT

  • Rapidly restore critical building systems

  • Repair switchgear, pump motors and all pumps

  • Relocate building systems to second floor

  • In-field repair services

  • Motor control rebuild in UL certified shop

  • Design and build of replacement systems

  • Critical systems back online in 48 hours

  • Savings with equipment repairs versus replacement

  • Upgraded power distribution and control systems

Hurricane Sandy hit New York City with a 14-foot storm surge that flooded lower Manhattan, wreaking havoc in the world’s largest financial district. 175 Water Street, a thirty-story tower that is headquarters to AIG, was one of many buildings that suffered unprecedented water damage.

 

“We had over 5 million gallons of water in our lobby and two sub-basements,” said Lou DiGiamo, Building Plant Manager. “We not only lost power but all of our panels, controls, and pumps were severely damaged and in some cases destroyed. Our emergency generator system was wrecked and inoperable.”

System Upgrades

 

With the critical systems back online, UEP then designed and built new power distribution equipment that included transfer switches and load centers.

 

In addition, UEP created a PLC-based control system for roof tank operation, and then replaced the fire pumps, controllers, and motors.

 

“If equipment was not immediately available, we completely rebuilt the system or rewound it at our repair shop,” said DiCunzolo.

 

“United Electric Power really stepped up,” said DiGiamo. “They managed the entire project, so I was able to focus on critical tasks instead of spending my time coordinating multiple vendors.

 

“They got our critical systems back up in just 48 hours and saved us a lot of money by repairing many system components.”

Call for Help

 

DiGiamo contacted United Electric Power (UEP) CEO Jerry DiCunzolo for assistance. DiCunzolo personally came to the site and devised an action plan for restoring the building’s systems.

 

“The recovery effort at 175 Water Street put the spotlight on our repair capabilities,” said DiCunzolo. “Back in 1983 when the tower was constructed nobody anticipated a flooding event like Hurricane Sandy, so all the systems were located on the ground floor, which multiplied the damage.

 

“Everything was submerged in salt water, but we were able to repair key motors and controls to get the critical systems back online in 48 hours. After that, we worked with Lou on longer-term repairs and updates such as moving their systems to the second floor.”

Emergency Repairs

 

The immediate need was to get the water pumps, fire pumps, and power distribution system up and running. The emergency generators were unusable because they were in a flooded sub-basement and their oil tanks had been ripped off their bases.

 

“Diesel fuel was everywhere, said DiCunzolo. “We had to come up with an in-field solution to get some systems up temporarily so that more complete repairs could be done.

 

“We put our technicians onsite. They were able to rinse out panels with fresh water, test them for electrical faults, and replace any failed parts. We surveyed the electrical panels and evaluated the house pumps and fire pump systems.

 

“Some of these systems are long lead-time items to replace, but we were able to make repairs with parts we had in stock.

 

“We helped the building crew to install all new motors and temporary control panels for the house pumps. We rebuilt the fire pump panel in the field and got the fire jockey pump controller back up and working.”