Mountain States

Industry Workers Helping Neighbors – Before, During and After the Flood

Just last month, Colorado endured a terrible, 500-year flood. The impacts of the fast-rushing water on homes and roads were severe and left many communities stranded, in desperate need of assistance. When Coloradans pulled together to help those in need, the men and women of the oil and gas industry stepped up to do their part. For example, employees from Anadarko cleaned up debris, volunteered at food banks, delivered water, donated hotel rooms and provided grocery-store gift cards for displaced families. In addition to efforts like these, Encana pledged $250,000 to various charities, including Weld County United Way and Foothills United Way, part of a huge industry-wide effort to make sure community groups have the resources to cope with demands of the recovery. Those oil and gas donations now exceed $2 million.

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It’s impossible to recognize every act of generosity after such a massive natural disaster. But Energy In Depth was fortunate to attend a recent event in Greeley, Colo. where employees from Noble Energy were thanked for their efforts.

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The following statements from Weld County community leaders really exemplify how oil and gas workers across the industry responded to this crisis.

Cheri Witt-Brown, Volunteer Manager, Weld Food Bank:

There’s talkers and there’s doers in this world. And Noble, you guys are the doers…

You are the heart and soul of this community, and you allow us to touch people’s lives every day.

Bob O’Connor, Executive Director, Weld Food Bank:

Over 250 volunteers collected that day alone 56,000 lbs food, which is the highest amount of food ever collected in a single food drive by the Weld Food Bank. … Our next question was how to we get this food safety checked, sorted and in the hands of those people who need it. … We needed trained volunteers, who knew our systems, who knew how to work at the Weld Food Bank, who knew how to safety check food, sort it … and get it out the door immediately. Only one response came to mind … it was Noble Energy…

The next morning, 55 members showed up at the door, and worked the entire day. … Normally that type of food takes weeks or even months to sort. But at the end of the day, they had sorted all 56,000 lbs of food…

During the year, Noble Energy had given us over 1,000 hours of volunteerism. They knew what to do…

This is going to be a very long recovery, there’s no question about it. And I’m confident that during this recovery, we will be able to make sure that we’re able to put food on the table for these families so they don’t have to worry about that while they’re rebuilding their lives.

The reason I’m confident is because Noble Energy was there before the flood, they were there during the flood, and I can guarantee you guys will be there after the flood.

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Gino Greco, CEO of the American Red Cross, Mile High Chapter:

You all energized the Red Cross in this operation. … You energized us so we were able to do what we were doing. …

[NOTE: Red Cross efforts included organizing 20 shelters that provided 3,800 overnight stays, serving almost 200,000 meals and snacks with partner organizations, and ensuring that almost 14,000 people received free counseling.]

Tom Norton, Mayor of Greeley:

Your company has the commitment to be a good neighbor, and we certainly appreciate it.

Sean Conway, Weld County Commissioner:

We were looking at 160 roads closed. Over 600 miles of roadways washed out, bridges destroyed…

One of the first calls we got in the public works department was from Noble Energy, and they said ‘what can we do to help.’ And they stepped up. They sent people and equipment wherever we needed their help. And it wasn’t just repairing roads that Noble needs to get to their facilities.

We have a very important thing going on – it’s called harvest. Our farmers have toiled for many months now to essentially raise a crop [and] their crops were all still in the ground on September 16th. Folks, we were facing another disaster. We were facing an agricultural disaster. … We’re the largest agricultural county in the State of Colorado, and fifth nationally. This was going to turn into not just an agricultural disaster for Weld County, but for the entire State of Colorado. Noble Energy was there for our farmers and ranchers…

Your greatest asset in this community is your people and they demonstrate it every single day. The response to this disaster is nothing different than what each and every one of you do every single day. … Everywhere I go in this community, Noble Energy is there. You’re serving on the boards of non-profits, you’re helping out at the food bank, you are engaging in making our community a better place to work and live.

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