Flood waters will likely keep the Tyson Foods Inc. Columbus Junction, Iowa, pork plant idle through next weekend. It now may be Saturday or possibly next Monday before the plant resumes operations. The plant has a slaughter capacity of some 9,000 hogs per day.
Spokesman Gary Mickelson said that Tyson workers were successful in protecting the plant from flooding by sandbagging and building dikes. "We appreciate their efforts and are thankful our facility remains dry," he said. "However, since nearby roads, as well as some of the homes of our workers are flooded, we are extending the suspension of production at the plant.
Tyson's other Iowa plants are operating normally, Mickelson said, adding that the company is shifting some production to its Waterloo and Storm Lake plants to make up for the loss of operations at Columbus Junction.
Flooding also forced Tyson to scale back operations at its Perry, Iowa, plant. Cargill Meat Solutions took similar precautions at its Ottumwa plant. Cargill spokesman Mark Klein said that slaughter operations at the Ottumwa plant would resume during second shift on Monday.