Local company fueling Florida in wake of Hurricane Irma

By  | 

MT VERNON, Mo. (KY3) Ozark Mountain Energy is supplying companies in Florida with fuel in the wake of shortages caused by Hurricane Irma.

"Trying to help them get back on their feet, have fuel where they can move their vehicles and get the restoration process in order," Brent Wilmoth, the company’s co-president of sales and marketing said.

They’re no strangers to this. Just weeks ago they were sending fuel to three locations in Texas affected by Hurricane Harvey. In 2005, they did the same in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

“It's a challenge, but it's something that we were willing to undertake, and hopefully that will be a small part in helping the communities in Houston and Florida get back on their feet,” Wilmoth said.

This isn’t a traditional fuel run, though. They are running a relay of sorts. A truck comes to their Mt. Vernon location from Tulsa. Ozark Mountain Energy employees will fill it up and send it on a 1,500 mile trek to Florida.

Companies turn to Ozark Mountain Energy when traditional fuel sources are devastated by natural disasters like hurricanes. One of those companies is FedEx, and they need the fuel to keep their trucks moving – some of which carry potentially life-saving supplies and food.

“We've been a go-between for the customer, and to keep the supply chain moving we've had the trucks in place,” he said.

His son, Eric Wilmoth, is the company’s vice president of marketing, and has coordinated some of the logistics.

“It's extremely challenging to get everyone on the same page at the same time,” he said. “Texas was a whole lot easier to get the supply in place at the right time. Florida's been a lot more challenging because it's an extra 15 hours to travel one way.”

Once the fuel arrives, their customers can fuel up by connecting their trucks straight to the Ozark Mountain Energy tanker thanks to a special nozzle the company fastened to help ease the process.

Brent Wilmoth says this extra effort hasn’t impacted their normal business operations. “We're at max capacity on a daily basis, and this was an instance where we felt we needed to step up and help,” he said.

The company expects to be shipping fuel to Florida through the end of the month.