ACA Board Member Might Tells Audience of 200 the Story of How His Cable Company’s Gulf Coast Team Responded to the Devastation of Hurricane Katrina
PITTSBURGH, October 28, 2009 – The American Cable Association salutes Cable ONE President and CEO and ACA board member Tom Might on receiving the 2009 President’s Award from the Association of Cable Communicators at a dinner Monday in Denver recognizing his leadership following the Hurricane Katrina disaster that struck the Gulf Coast region in 2005.
“The ACA is very pleased that ACC’s top honor went to Tom Might, who richly deserved the accolade for the way Cable ONE under Tom’s steady leadership responded to the crisis after Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast, taking many lives, destroying homes and leaving Cable ONE without much of a business,” American Cable Association President and CEO Matthew M. Polka said. “Under Tom’s careful and caring direction, Cable ONE put the interests of its workers and customers first and consequently had the company’s cable operations back to normal in about six months.”
In his acceptance speech, Might recounted the tragic story in words and photos taken by him and his wife of how Cable ONE dealt with the catastrophic impact of Hurricane Katrina, which dumped 30-foot waves on the 65-mile Mississippi coastline where Cable ONE serves 95% of the homes.
“One-third of Cable ONE’s local workforce was homeless and one-third faced major reconstruction,” Might recalled. “Most of our cable plant was missing or in tatters.”
Taking immediate charge, Might rushed in food, gas, cash, and medicine to help dislocated Cable ONE workers. Cable ONE employees located safely beyond the footprint of the storm helped out by driving in camper trailers to serve as temporary shelter for Cable ONE colleagues on the Gulf Coast who had lost their homes.
In all, Cable ONE spent $70 million and needed six months to finish the job.
Might concluded by highlighting the heroic deeds of Cable ONE’s Biloxi marketing manager, Butch Henley, who jumped from the steps of his own home at the height of the hurricane to rescue four people who were caught in debris-covered sea water and were barely alive.
“Sadly, he could not free two other bodies trapped in the debris and they perished,” Might said.
Henley, invited by Might to sit at his table for the award ceremony, received a standing ovation.
“Leading Cable ONE through the aftermath of Katrina was the most difficult challenge of my life, but as you can see, I had lots of help,” Might said.
# # #
About the American Cable Association
Based in Pittsburgh, the American Cable Association is a trade organization representing more than 900 smaller and medium-sized, independent cable companies who provide broadband services for more than 7 million cable subscribers primarily located in rural and smaller suburban markets across America. Through active participation in the regulatory and legislative process in Washington, D.C., ACA’s members work together to advance the interests of their customers and ensure the future competitiveness and