The Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors is reporting good news, as it appears most of its Gulf Coast members have been spared the brunt of Hurricane Ike.

The organization checked in with members in the Houston/Galveston area and found that, although there was damage to nearby buildings, the storm did not extensively harm the structural facilities of those contacted. PHCC members say their biggest challenge now is fulfilling requests for work to repair storm-related damage.

"We have been working hard, and it is like Christmas," George Johnson (The Katy Plumbing Co., Katy, Texas) told PHCC. "You feel like Santa Claus when you show up to help."   

The organization also reports that PHCC contractors are reaching out to help other members. For instance, Rick Shelton (Shelton Plumbing Co., Waco, Texas) helped Patty and Milton Frank assemble supplies for back-up power at powerless Milton Frank Plumbing Co. in Spring, Texas.

"They left our house last night (Sept. 14) at 11 p.m. loaded with four generators, a large gas tank equipped with a hand pump, all the gas cans I could round up, water, extension cords and their vehicle full of supplies," he informed PHCC. At last report, the Franks were open for business and trying to meet many requests for service. Long lines at gas stations and no operating traffic lights complicate the situation.