SPRINGVILLE, Utah – A. Utah County plumbing company sped on Lufkin, Texas to help people with burst pipes after the severe winter weather and ice storm that hit the area last month.
Frank Hatch didn’t know exactly what he was getting into. He just knew he wanted to do something.
“I have to help in this country and I have to feel part of something,” said Hatch.
He said these words last month just before he and his workers left for Texas.
I have a cool update on a story from last month. Springville’s Imperial Plumbing returned home after nearly a month in Texas this week. They helped people with broken pipes from the ice storm. We’ll have this story at 10am on @ KSL5TV. Background: https://t.co/ObnmppgvtW? pic.twitter.com/D6Un3UzMwP
– Alex Cabrero (@KSL_AlexCabrero) March 19, 2021
Hatch owns Imperial Plumbing in Springville, and after the ice storm that hit Texas left millions of people with frozen and broken pipes, Hatch knew his expertise could help them.
He and his team returned to Texas this week after spending nearly a month in the Lufkin, Texas area.
“The destruction was incredible. Worse than I ever imagined, ”he said. “The water pipes they use, their water pipes, are just broken. So we basically redecorated the whole house for them, and these are obviously people who couldn’t afford it. “
Hatch and his crew worked on dozens of houses for free.
They crawled beneath them in the most difficult conditions even the most skilled plumbers had ever faced.
“It was raining the whole time we were there,” said Hatch. “They were lying in raw sewage, animal droppings, things like that. And they never complained once. “
Some of his workers got sick.
A couple of their work trucks were broken.
And it often seemed like the work never ended.
“We’d go back into the room after a 12 hour day and your boots are soaked. No way to dry them. Things like that, ”said Hatch.
Even so, the job was about as rewarding as any other it’s ever been on.
Most of the people Imperial Plumbing helped didn’t think that anyone would help them.
“It was definitely worth it,” said Hatch. “My workers just loved it when the person came out. Tears ran down their faces. “
After KSL shared the story of their departure, many people wanted to help Hatch with money.
The Utah Plumbing Company went to Texas to help with the cleanup
He says he used that money to help people fix their homes with broken windows, appliances, and furniture.
“I told them it was from the Utah people who wanted to help,” Hatch said.
It was an experience he will never forget.
It’s also one he needed after so much political division in recent years.
“I needed my way of doing things to help humanity and make things better in America and to show that everyone still cares,” said Hatch. “My workers are young men in their twenties and it was great that they saw that.”
Because in a disaster like the one you found yourself in, it doesn’t matter if you’re a Republican, a Democrat or whatever.
All that matters is someone needs help, and Hatch wanted to be a part of it.
“I wish we could really have done more,” he said. “But what we helped was incredible.”