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Blue Star Shines Through the Aftermath of Hurricane Ivan

Little did Greg Lurwig know that a welding generator he had relied on for years on the farm would come to help him in a time of need, a time when his life and that of his parents were turned upside down and inside out in a matter of days.

On September 15, 2004, Hurricane Ivan struck the US Gulf Coast. Its destructive winds and pounding waves tore beachfront homes away from the shore and caused massive flooding and damage inland. US authorities urged millions of people to flee the coast as the Hurricane devastated the 400-mile stretch of coastline.

For a farmer in Central Alabama, the news of the storm couldn't have been worse. Greg Lurwig's parents live on the southern coast and directly in the path of the Hurricane. Luckily, he was able to contact his parents who were fine, but without power and sharing a stand-alone generator with his grandmother who lived next door. The power output was simply not meeting their needs. That is when Lurwig thought to bring his Miller Blue Star® 2E engine-driven welding generator down to the aid of his parents.

For years, Lurwig used the welding capabilities of the Blue Star for agricultural fabrication, repair and ran a well system to water his 60-head of cattle off its 3500 watts of generator power. The Friday after the storm hit, he bought a Bobcat™ 250 from Miller Electric Mfg. Co. for use on his farm and without another thought the Blue Star was on its way to help get his parent's critical utilities up and running.

Up and Running

"They ran it for about 2 weeks straight until power was restored to the area," states Lurwig. "My parents said you could hear all the generators crank up around 6 a.m. and shut down about 6 p.m. It was about five days before power was restored to Marion Junction, where I live up in central Alabama."

Ludwig's parents used the Blue Star to run their well, refrigerator and freezer; even the neighbors shared in the power output. "I was really impressed, that little Blue Star seems to run forever on a tank of gas. It is very economical, especially when you could only get 2 gallons at a time due to the supply shortage," states Lurwig.

The hurricane wiped out many of the places that Lurwig remembers visiting. "I would go down to the coast every other weekend during the summertime and most of the places that we used to go, just are not there anymore; but it's recovering," Lurwig said.

Performance Lives On

Currently, the Blue Star is still performing for Lurwig's cousin who has a shop near the coast. He is using it to fabricate and repair metal barns by replacing beams that give the barn its structural integrity. His cousin also plans to use the Blue Star to get his farm machinery ready for spring planting. 

Greg Lurwig plans to use his new Bobcat 250 on a list of projects he has, "I'm going to build some wrought iron gates for my property that I lease out for hunting. Thanks to the portability of the Bobcat, I can take it right to where I'll be hanging them and weld on the spot." Lurwig also has a Millermatic® 225 that he uses back at the shop for sheet metal applications.

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