Survivors of super-storm Sandy along the eastern seaboard will soon be refreshed by water bottled in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.
The employees at Pittsfield’s Ice River Springs are used to gearing up production when natural disasters strike: though southern plants took the lead, the regional bottler for this Canadian-owned spring water supplier filled large orders for relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
But Sandy is different. It knocked out Ice River Springs’ Pennsylvania plant, spurring Pittsfield’s workers to step up and fill the gap for water needed by FEMA, as plant manager Mark Gott explains.
“Being our plant in Allentown is still down because of the storm, this plant is looking over basically the supplying of both plants.”
The order is for forty thousand cases of spring water. That’s almost one million bottles, filling twenty five truckloads, all headed toward Sandy survivors.
The sudden uptick in demand means all hands are on deck at the local plant, which is working around the clock—with its full staff complement of about fifty workers—to fill the demand.
“This time of year can be a little bit slower for us. We go into a little bit of a dip between the end of summer and prior to Christmas. Basically we’re running as if we’re mid-summer right now. And we were doing that since about three days prior to the storm. So we’re running twenty-four/ seven.”
Gott says the initial order for forty thousand cases of bottled water is all ready to go, but storm damage has delayed the twenty-five trucks headed to Pittsfield to pick it up.