Some plastics companies in the Milwaukee area were recovering last week from heavy rain that dumped 93/4 inches in just six hours.
Sterling Inc., an auxiliary equipment supplier, temporarily was out of commission early last week, when it lost power at its 65,000-square-foot Milwaukee plant.
Water was 2 feet deep in the plant, although offices on the second floor were untouched. At one point on June 21, two employees left the plant in a boat that neighbors were navigating down the road in some 4 feet of runoff. Other workers waded chest-deep toward higher land.
The firm recovered quickly, has been able to fill all of its spare-part orders and hoped to be up and running by June 27, said President Roger Lange.
``We are still determining damage done,'' Lange said.
He estimated it will cost $250,000 to repair and replace damaged parts.
Sterling makes temperature control units and portable chillers.
``We are not going to try to salvage parts that were submerged,'' Lange said.
The company plans to rebuild damaged machines.
Sterling, which employs 160, used its staff along with a team of temporary workers to clean the plant.
Another company in the area was luckier. Custom rotational molder Kracor Inc. had 4 inches of rain in its offices, but the water did not get over the skids in the plant. The company estimates it will need about $80,000 to replace damaged electronics and flooring.
``The good thing about plastic is that you can just wipe it off,'' said President George Kraemer.
Bardes Plastics Inc. of Milwaukee has had enough flooding experience that it keeps sandbags on hand. The company had only traces of water on its plant floor.
According to officials at Bemis Contract Extrusion of Sheboygan Falls, Wis., the firm escaped damage because of retention ponds it has on its site.