Plumber Drives to Texas from New Jersey to Help After Storm: 'Proud to Lend a Helping Hand'
Andrew Mitchell drove from New Jersey to Texas to help residents who were in need after Winter Storm Uri hit the state
When Texas was hit by freezing temperatures caused by a winter storm last month, many residents around the state suddenly found themselves without water or plumbing. The culprit? Pipes that had frozen and burst in the extreme weather.
Once the harsh temperatures had subsided, plumbers became an all-important piece of getting communities back up and running. When plumber Andrew Mitchell heard of all that was needed, he and his wife, Kisha Pinnock, packed $2,000 worth of materials and drove nearly two days from their home in New Jersey to Texas, to help in the efforts.
"I always ask a customer what do they think is fair, what do they have to spare," 31-year-old Mitchell, of Mitchell's Plumbing & Heating, told NJ.com. "I never try to take advantage of somebody."
For the trip, the two also brought along their 2-year-old son, Blake, and Mitchell's apprentice and brother-in-law, Isaiah Pinnock, according to CNN.
Once in Texas, Pinnock's sister helped connect them with residents who were in need of service.
"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," Pinnock told CNN. "Since we've been here, it has really been nonstop."
One woman, 71-year-old Barbara Benson, told NJ.com she was finally able to get working water after getting in contact with Mitchell. Before he arrived, Benson was told it could take weeks for a local plumber to make it out to see her, and it could cost as much as $2,000 just to diagnose what was wrong.
"For a woman living by herself, you can get scammed easily and I was just pleasantly surprised," she told the outlet. "It was like somebody's watching out for me."
Kisha said there has been non-stop work for the family since their arrival.
"It's been very, very hectic," she told NJ.com last week. "Even last night, Andrew did not get in until 2 o'clock in the morning, and he was still getting calls at 2 o'clock in the morning… calls just keep coming in and it's people who really need help."
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As far as the family is concerned, they will remain there a while longer to help as many people as they can.
Mitchell has even brought up the idea of Kisha flying back to New Jersey so she can drive back with more supplies.
"Wait times for plumbers are 3+ weeks," Mitchell's Plumbing & Heating wrote in a post on Facebook on Monday. "[We are] proud to lend a helping hand and serve the State of Texas when the residents are in need of a skilled plumber to restore running water to residents."