Paper coming off the machine at SI mill

Our Staten Island operations may have taken a heavy hit from Superstorm Sandy last week – but the good news is that no Pratt employee living in the affected areas was injured despite widespread destruction.

“We’re so thankful for that,” said CEO Brian McPheeley. “Some of our team lost power or had damage to their houses but we’ve had no reports of anyone being physically harmed.”

Unfortunately the same couldn’t be said of the paper mill, which was shut for 8 days after being slammed by a 13-foot surge of salt water, knocking out more than 100 motors and electronic equipment – as well causing a total loss of power. Thankfully there was no structural damage.

The mill had been evacuated before Sandy hit, following New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s mandatory order to leave Zone A – which covers those areas most susceptible to flooding and surges. No employee was allowed back on site for 48 hours.

But once the order was lifted, GM Jay Hennessey and his remarkable crew went back to work – and were soon joined by a team of managers and employees from across all company divisions.

And thanks to their hard work, the mill is already back in production.

“People from across the company had to pitch in to resolve the countless hurdles and issues that were thrown at us over the last week,” said Brian. “They all did a remarkable job…we had engineers, IT, people from head office, logistics, the various divisions.

“It was a genuine group effort and I honestly believe some other companies would have taken at least three times as long to get this mill back on-line.”

Brian paid special tribute to Jay, Luis Henao, Ed Kersey and Wayne Villas “for their unbelievable leadership, organization and especially their ‘can do’ attitude 24 hours a day throughout this situation.”

Remarkably, none of the roll stock was damaged so we were able to supply our own box plants and externals throughout the crisis with additional help from SI’s sister mills.