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Dow headquarters imperiled by flooding after Michigan dams break

May 21/2020

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Dow Inc. has activated its local emergency center in Michigan and is implementing its flood preparedness plan which includes the safe shutdown of operating units on site, the company said after two dams failed upstream of its Midland, Michigan, headquarters, reported Bloomberg.

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, who is already managing a public health crisis in one of the states that has been hard hit by Covid-19, announced an emergency declaration in response to the dam collapse. She told people to evacuate the area around Midland, urging those in the flooding zones to get to a shelter.

In the next 12 to 15 hours, downtown Midland could be under nine feet of water, Whitmer said. To go through this in the midst of a global pandemic is almost unthinkable.

Dow said that only essential Dow staff needed to monitor the situation and manage any issues as a result of the flooding remain on site. Other companies with operations at Dows Midland complex include DuPont and Corteva Agriscience. The companies are working together on their response, a Dow spokesperson said.

The Edenville Dam, at the base of nearby Wixom Lake, failed amid high floodwaters in the area, sending water gushing through a now-gaping hole near its spillway. A second one, the Sanford Dam at the base of Sanford Lake, had also failed, according to the National Weather Service, which issued an alert advising of extremely dangerous flash flooding in the area.

The Tittabawassee River that flows below those lakes, through Midland, crested at nearly 34 feet in a 1986 flood that saw Dow Chemical shutter nearly all of its local operations. Floodwaters in Midland are expected to reach nearly 4 feet higher than that on Wednesday, the Midland Daily News said.

As MRC informed earlier, USA based Dow Chemical is planning to shut three polyethylene (PE) plants in the USA and Argentina to avoid piling inventories amid sluggish global demand conditions due to the COVID-19 related lockdown.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 557,060 tonnes in the first three month of 2020, up by 7% year on year. High density polyethylene (HDPE) and linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) shipments rose because of the increased capacity utilisation at ZapSibNeftekhim. Demand for LDPE subsided.

The Dow Chemical Company is an American multinational chemical corporation headquartered in Midland, Michigan, United States. Dow is a large producer of plastics, including polystyrene (PS), polyurethane, polyethylene, polypropylene, and synthetic rubber.
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:PE, LLDPE, LDPE, HDPE, petrochemistry, Dow, Rossiya, USA.
Category:General News
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