Mother Nature paid an unfriendly visit to the Bluegrass State on Nov. 14, as flooding from heavy rains caused major damage at three injection molding plants in Henderson, Ky.
Among the three plants was a pair of plants operated by J-Ron Inc. A 55,000-square-foot site that J-Ron opened just last month had water as high as 3½ feet at one point, according to Vice President Ron Bugg Jr. J-Ron's 40,000-square-foot plant located nearby received about 8 inches of water.
The storm lasted into the early morning of Nov. 15, flooding Canoe Creek just a week after tornadoes touched down in nearby Evansville, Ind.
``We had something like [the flood] happen in 1983, and there had been a lot of improvements made since then, but we got 10 inches of rain, and that included 7 inches in four or five hours,'' Bugg said by phone. ``It was just too much water in a short period of time.''
The timing was especially unfortunate for J-Ron, which had just relocated a photo slide mount business from Evansville to Henderson. J-Ron bought the business from Eastman Kodak Co.
Bugg said he had no damage estimate from the flooding, but he was unsure how many of the firm's 33 injection presses could be salvaged. J-Ron's 80 employees all have been involved with cleanup efforts, and Bugg was trying to keep the event in perspective.
``We're thankful nobody was injured or hurt, and we've been getting a lot of help from our employees,'' he said.
About a block away from J-Ron, Vincent Industrial Plastics was evaluating inventory damage that ``could run into seven figures,'' according to owner Jim Vincent.
Vincent's 275,000-square-foot plant received between 2 and 10 inches of rain. Although none of the firm's 70 injection presses were damaged, waterlogged curtains fell in its inventory area, knocking over and damaging many racks and shelves of finished automotive components.
The 300-employee firm regained power Nov. 16 and was back at full production Nov. 17, Vincent said.
Two other Henderson plastics businesses fared better. Nylon resin maker and compounder Custom Resins is ``a little farther away from [Canoe Creek] and a little higher up'' and experienced no flooding, according to President Mike Warner.
A plastic pipe plant operated by Cresline Plastic Pipe Co. Inc. had minor flooding in its shipping area and lost a day of shipping, but otherwise was unaffected, President Richard Schroeder said.