Beaverton, Mich. — Phones are ringing and email inboxes are filling again after catastrophic flooding in Michigan had knocked out the phones and internet for Brown Machinery Group in Beaverton.
The manufacturer of thermoforming machines and tooling remained open during the torrential rains that overwhelmed the area, but had to set up an alternative communication process.
Beaverton is located about 25 miles from Midland, where people were evacuated after rivers swelled and two dams gave way following days of heavy rains.
Beaverton experienced "minor" flooding compared to "extensive" damage to its east, Lynn Govitz, spokeswoman for Brown Machinery LLC, said in an email to Plastics News.
"Luckily the Beaverton dam held up or it could have been much worse," Govitz said.
To get around the phone and internet outages, the company publicized the cell phone numbers for staff that handle machine servicing, sales, spare parts and manufacturing but could not be reachable by usual means.
"Rest assured we are still here for you. We are processing orders, servicing machines and our manufacturing facility is fully functional," the company said in a letter about the outage. "We are thankful we have not heard of any loss of life thus far. The Beaverton community has come together and are supporting those in need."
Beaverton is a small city with 1,070 people that bills itself as the thermoforming capital of the world. Former Dow employees who were experts in the use of polystyrene started their own businesses there back in the 1940s.
This year also stands out for the community. The Brown Machinery Group letter says, "It appears that 2020 is going to be one for the record books. We have experienced historic flooding that has not been seen in the past 500 years."