Austria's worst flooding in a century has damaged part of the Schwertberg headquarters plant of injection press maker Engel Vertriebsgessellschaft mbH.
The small, normally shallow Aist River flooded its banks and surrounded the Engel plant Aug. 9. It receded, then surrounded the building again Aug. 12, said spokesman Christian Pum.
``In the summer, [normally] you can go through it with a pair of good boots,'' Pum said.
But torrential rainfall has caused widespread flooding across central Europe, killing nearly 100 people. Schwertberg temporarily was cut off from land by the flood water.
Now the cleanup has begun at the Schwertberg factory, which makes small and midsize machines and serves as company headquarters.
The plant was in the middle of a two-week summer shutdown when the flooding hit, so no one was injured. Most of the damage was to an area used to fabricate metal components for the injection presses, the company said. Damage was not as severe to the assembly area. The spare-parts operation was largely spared damage.
Otto Urbanek, Engel's executive vice president of engineering, said it is not possible to give a damage assessment yet, or to estimate how much the cleanup will cost.
After the two-week shutdown, production was scheduled to resume Aug. 19.
``Our employees have demonstrated outstanding dedication,'' Urbanek said in a news release. ``Thanks to their efforts, the core production areas will be operational on Aug. 19, as planned.''
Even so, Engel will not be able to deliver machines from Schwertberg right away. The company will outsource production of some machines, or buy components from outside suppliers.
``We will personally contact and update all customers,'' Urbanek said.
Engel's other plants in Austria were not damaged. Engel makes large-tonnage machines in St. Valentin, robots in Dietach and machine components in Steyr.
Flooding of the river Enns has hit downtown Steyr, damaging some historic buildings, but the Engel operation is outside that area, Pum said.
Engel handles North American business through plants in Guelph, Ontario, and York, Pa.