When this New Jersey plumber learned that many Texans needed plumbing services after last week’s winter storms, he made the 22-hour drive to Houston to help the residents.
Andrew heard that local plumbers in Texas were struggling to accommodate all the customers whose homes had burst pipes and other damage, so he volunteered to assist. The plumbers said they had been receiving 150 to 200 calls each day, which was too much for them to handle.
Many Texans were still grappling with the aftermath of the devastating winter storm. The damage it caused left thousands of families across the south-western state with flooded homes and no water.
Andrew Mitchell took his wife, Kisha Pinnock, their 2-year-old son Blake, and Isaiah Pinnock—Kisha’s brother and Andrew’s apprentice—to the long drive from Morristown.
Before leaving, the group bought as many plumbing materials as they could afford, knowing that the supply would be scarce in Texas. They ended up loading their truck with around $2,000 worth of tools.
They arrived in Houston, Texas, Sunday afternoon. Isaiah’s sister, who lives there, connected them with several people who had been desperate to hire a plumber. After learning that help has arrived, they immediately enlisted the services of Mitchell’s Plumbing & Heating.
“By the time we got here there was already about four or five jobs lined up from my sister, and we just hit those first and then everything after that has really just been referrals from like the initial customers, like their friends and family,” Isaiah said. “Since we’ve been here, it has really been nonstop.”
Kisha said the two had done 13 jobs since they arrived, working from morning until evening to fix pipes and locate damage in collapsed ceilings and frozen walls.
“It’s really a blessing to be a blessing to other people and Andrew truly enjoys the work,” Kisha told the BBC. “Plumbing is his passion.”
There was even a time when Andrew didn’t get back home until two in the morning. But even if he lacked sleep, he was out again by 7:30 the following morning to help more residents.
Kisha says her husband has “always been dedicated to his craft.”
Among the recipients of their services was Dedrick Dock of Spring, Texas. He tried getting at least 15 plumbers in his home before hearing about Mitchell’s Plumbing & Heating on social media.
Dedrick and his family had been staying with relatives for over a week because they had a broken pipe in their garage.
“We had to relocate for over a week because we needed to get someone out there,” he said. “And of course, with the plumbers here they were already overwhelmed with the work that was going on.”
Andrew and Isaiah planned to return to New Jersey next week, but they said they will extend their stay for two more weeks because many people still needed their help.
“A lot of the people we’ve helped were telling us they either can’t get a plumber on the phone or – if they do get one on the phone – the wait to be serviced is three to four weeks out, so they can’t have water during that entire time,” Kisha said.
Andrew plans to keep working until he runs out of supplies. He might even make a return trip to the area. While they still have material, the two plan to visit the state’s capital, Austin.
“I think that we made a difference, for sure,” Isaiah said.
They truly did. If it weren’t for their efforts, many Texans in Houston would still have flooded homes and no water. Kudos to Andrew and Isaiah!
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