Center Lift., Inc & Couvillion Group Aids Hurricane Sally Recovery


Published May 12, 2021 12:29 PM by The Maritime Executive

With the impending 2021 Hurricane Season starting soon, Center Lift and Couvillion Group celebrate their successful 2020 partnership in aid of Hurricane Sally recovery. The two teams combined forces to return 10 grounded barges to Pensacola Bay. 

In September 2020, Sally became the eighteenth of a record-breaking thirty-named storm season. Even at a Category Two, sustained winds and unrelenting rains drenched Florida and Alabama, resulting in over 300 million in estimated damages to Pensacola and Escambia County alone. Overnight more than 20+ barges pushed onto shorelines and into neighborhoods, some weighing more than 400 tons. Within weeks, the Center Lift and Couvillion teams were in place, ready to support their neighbors to the East. 

Over the course of five weeks, Pirtle and his team used Center Lift’s patented Stability Control System and Couvillion Group’s engineering expertise and equipment.

“Living in Louisiana, we know a thing or two about the stress of Hurricane Season,” said James Pirtle, President, Center Lift, Inc. “Our marine asset recovery systems can be mobilized quickly and safely when the unthinkable happens. We just hope to bring back a little peace and serenity. We’re all in this together on the Gulf Coast.”

“Like many of the projects we tackle, this project required ingenuity and teamwork,” Said Timmy Couvillion. We were gratified that Center Lift was able to partner with us as we safely returned these massive barges to the water.  Just as importantly, we were proud to be part of the Pensacola community and to help return them to normal”, he continued, 

Over the course of five weeks, Center Lift’s patented Stability Control System (SCS) and roller bags, and Couvillion Group’s engineering plan successfully lifted and launched six vessels, four of which were lodged along Bayfront Parkway in downtown Pensacola. The SCS keeps vessels moving steadily, minimizing the boots on the ground, decreasing cost, and increasing safety. At this site, two barges were grounded in tandem with the starboard side facing the bay, adding additional complications including plans to launch the two barges as one unit. Thanks to careful excavation of fallen debris, the vessels were ultimately launched independently, limiting shoreline disruption.

Couvillion Group spearheaded a larger Sally relief project and guided each grounded vessel back to safe harbor. Together the teams worked diligently to restore waterfront views that color Florida neighborhoods. 

Throughout the process neighbors often stopped by to thank the teams, noting that the sheer size of the vessels made their return to water seem unfathomable. With decades of experience between them, Pirtle and Couvillion assured onlookers that a smooth return to normalcy was not only possible but efficient even with project’s overwhelming magnitude.  
Efforts to remediate the impact of any storm extend beyond immediate asset recovery and Center Lift and Couvillion remain prepared to serve throughout the year. 

The products and services herein described in this press release are not endorsed by The Maritime Executive.