Processors take stock of damage from Harvey

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City of Victoria Winds from Hurricane Harvey damaged property in Victoria, Texas.

Processors are assessing damage from Hurricane Harvey and the more than 4 feet of rain that came with it in Texas.

While information is just starting to come in regarding businesses in a region that saw more than 13 deaths a few near the Gulf Coast have reported seeing some damage.

Berry Plastics Global Group Inc. closed two plants indefinitely to assess damage — in Victoria and Beaumont — while Inteplast Group said it expected to reopen its Lolita operations on Aug. 30.

Berry manufacturers institutional can liners and retail trash bags in Victoria while the Beaumont facility reprocesses resins, Amy Waterman, global marketing communications manager for the Evansville, Ind.-based company, said in an email.

The company issued a statement Aug. 29 saying, "Production has been idled until we evaluate the extent of the damage and make necessary repairs to ensure the safe return to operation. To the best of our knowledge, no employee injuries occurred. This weather event remains ongoing, as the Texas Gulf Coast is continuing to receive significant rainfall. The company is working with our customers and vendors to minimize the impact."

Inteplast manufactures PVC products, such as decking, molding, siding and reusable shopping bags, at its 575-acre Lolita campus, which has numerous buildings.

"Although our Lolita site sustained roof and other structural damages, thank God we were largely spared and thus we should be able to recover quickly for the sake of all our employees as well as customers," Inteplast Group President John Young said in an Agu. 29 announcement.

City of Victoria Flooding in a residential neighborhood in Victoria, Texas.

Some employees worked around the clock to minimize damage at the facility "despite outages and losses at home," Young added.

Although manufacturing at the site will ramp up again, shipping and receiving products could remain a problem. Inteplast plans to use "the fully functioning roads" in San Antonio and Austin as alternative transportation routes.

Hurricane Harvey made landfall on Aug. 25 as a Category 4 storm with 130-mile winds. Then, the weather system battered the Houston area for six days, dropping more than 50 inches of rain and setting a record for total rainfall from a single tropical storm, according to the National Weather Service.

Local officials have reported 13 storm-related deaths in Texas and the Houston Police Department has rescued more than 3,500 people from flooding while the Harris County Sheriff's Office performed more than 2,200 rescues.

The Manufacturers Association for Plastics Processors (MAPP) contacted dozens of its members in Texas to see if any need help and to remind them about the special online forum created for these situations.

"We have a response network on our website. It's our member forum and you can reach out for help," MAPP Marketing Director Marcella Kates said. "We have an emergency alert system to quickly email other members in an instant, if for example, their machine is down and they need something ASAP."

PetroChem Wire said 10 Waste Management recycling centers were closed in the Houston area.

The American Red Cross also is collecting plastic products to help with disaster relief, with the Plastics Industry Association asking its members to help out.

The Red Cross is asking businesses to donate 17,000 tarps, 19,000 storage totes and 3,000 coolers. The Plastics Industry Association is asking its members to help.

The Red Cross is seeking:

  • Mold-resistant high density polyethylene tarps that have been UV-treated on both sides and have rope reinforced hemmed edges.
  • 20-to30-gallon plastic totes with lids for storing and transporting items.
  • Coolers that hold 28 to 36 quarts.

"They anticipate needing these items throughout the next several weeks, so please consider giving even if you need to ship the items in September," an association letter says.

To donate, contact Tim Wahlers, a regional philanthropy officer at the American Red Cross, at 703-638-2906 or tim.wahlers@redcross.org.