Local company's pumps helping to dry out New York after storm

Local company's pumps helping to dry out New York after storm »Play Video
An employee at Cornell Pump Company in Clackamas works to make giant pumps that are being used in New York to move water out of flooded areas.

CLACKAMAS, Ore. – Giant pumps made by a local company are now helping the Northeast recover from Hurricane Sandy, and part of the effort to help was sending some of the pumps ahead of the storm.

According to officials at Cornell Pump Company, that's a big difference between preparations for this hurricane and Hurricane Katrina that hit New Orleans in 2005.

Pumps are already moving water in Manhattan at flooded Bellevue Hospital, but there's still a lot below ground in New York's subway system.

Cornell's pumps have been in action in New York in the past, removing water from the subway under the collapsed twin towers after 9/11.

Cornell is one of just four manufacturers in the country that makes "dewatering" pumps designed to chop up watery debris and keep on running.

According to its website, its pumps can pump up to 31,000 gallons a minute.

The company shipped 200 pumps to the New Orleans area after Hurricane Katrina. It shipped some east ahead of Hurricane Sandy.

"What we saw this year was a lot of people moving product there well ahead of the storm anticipating the flooding," said Cornell's vice president Marcus Davi.

Cornell's managers are proud some of their pumps are already working to help the Northeast recover.

"Every hurricane season, you get these kinds of problems, and our pumps are the first to be deployed – absolutely," said Davi.

The Army Corps of Engineers has given Cornell a heads up to get ready to ship more pumps to the Northeast, but it doesn't know how many yet.