Marathon Petroleum employees mobilized to help those affected by the historic flooding in Eastern Kentucky in July, the impacts of which continue to be felt across the region. The employee volunteers and their families aided rescue and recovery efforts, distributing drinking water and cleaning supplies to those in need.
“The damage from the floodwaters is unimaginable,” said Ben Tibbitts, a chemist at Marathon Petroleum and one of the many employees from the company’s multi-operations in the Tri-State area who worked together to help flood victims. “Even harder to imagine is the human suffering, the loss of their homes, cars, pets and, in some cases, their loved ones.”
Early on, Tibbitts was joined by fellow Marathon employees Caleb Litchfield and Garret MacLean, who volunteered to be part of a local search and rescue team from Boyd County, home to Marathon’s Catlettsburg, Ky., refinery. They were sent to some of the hardest-hit areas to their south, where they were part of a massive humanitarian relief effort.
“We were able to deliver some much-needed supplies and help evacuate three people, two of whom needed immediate medical attention,” Tibbits said.
Marathon Petroleum made two $25,000 donations to support the efforts.
“It was shocking to see the utter devastation across such a large area,” said Jeremy Hayes, operations supervisor, MPLX G&P Langley Facility, who worked with a team of volunteers from Marathon to organize relief efforts almost immediately. “It has also been a privilege for me and the rest of our larger team to help these people who are hurting and who have lost so much.”
In addition to providing supplies, the Langley Facility sent an electrician and a maintenance technician to install generators to provide power to relief trailers at the Garrett First Baptist Church, where a command center had been set up. Another Langley employee, Cory Humphrey, donated 100 bales of his own hay to a farmer in need of food to feed his livestock following the flooding.
A recent safety grant from Marathon Petroleum to purchase a side-by-side rescue vehicle for Boyd County Emergency Management was also used extensively, according to the agency’s director.