A series of tornadoes in the Midwest have put production in turmoil for some plastics firms.
A May 4 tornado hit both PolyOne Corp. plants in Dyersburg, Tenn., damaging a plastics compounding site and its neighboring rubber compounding operation.
Early the next morning a separate storm virtually destroyed Owens Corning's fabrication plant in Springfield, Tenn.
No one was injured at either company. PolyOne's employees had just gone through a tornado drill two weeks ago, spokesman Dennis Cocco said. When the warning alarm sounded at about 8 p.m., everyone made it safely to designated shelters.
The tornado flipped rail cars and tore off parts of the roof. The plastics plant also sustained damage to its infrastructure.
There was no one working at the OC plant when the tornado hit early May 5. The Springfield site produces VersaMat acoustic composite material for the automotive and appliance industries and Silentex sound absorption material for the auto industry.
Equipment for both lines has been moved to other locations in Springfield, with manufacturing already launched to meet existing customer demands, said Janet Galecki, a spokeswoman for Toledo, Ohio-based Owens Corning.
The firm still must determine what it will do long-term to replace the damaged facility.
PolyOne, meanwhile, has restarted production at the rubber compounding operation and has some limited lines running at the plastics plant. It still is trying to determine the full extent of the damage and what it must repair going forward. Other sites are capable of taking over compounding operations if needed, Cocco said.
Both companies said customers were understanding of their situation, even before General Motors Corp. also was hit by a tornado May 9.
The twister slammed into GM's sport utility vehicle assembly plant in Oklahoma City, extensively damaging the building and injuring two drivers for suppliers who were on-site at the time. Production has stopped while the automaker determines the extent of structural damage.