Currently, there is a tremendous amount of news regarding this devastating natural disaster which affected Louisiana with floodwaters and Mississippi/Alabama with destructive winds. The loss of human life and scope of the destruction is both heartbreaking and humbling.

A handful of Milnor employees remained and they’ve called others to tell us that the factory appears to be in good shape. The factory is in south Kenner and it is dry (no flooding), although there is some minor wind damage. The problem is that there is no electricity, no water, no sewerage and no phones. We know that most of our people were evacuated and we are attempting to contact them to see how they are doing.

Local government officials are not allowing residents to return to the area until they deem it safe and estimates vary as to when this will be.

The pictures of the devastion that you see on television are primarily from the city limits of New Orleans and eastward (news footage of the rooftop helicopter rescues shown on TV comes from the city of New Orleans, which appears to be hardest hit by post-hurricane levee breaks). However, north Kenner did see its share of flood damage as well. By the way, a large percentage of our employees live in suburban Jefferson Parish.

We are working on plans to get into the factory soon to get our servers and phone system running so that we can establish communications once again. We hope to get a website up and running soon where we can post progress reports on our reopening.

Members of our management team live in various locations and we have conference calls at least twice a day to plan the next steps to ensure that critical spare parts are available. In the meantime, we ask that customers contact their local Milnor dealer regarding parts and service while we try to get back in operation. We’ve already contacted our dealers and have asked them to keep each other informed about the state of the spare parts inventories over the next several weeks.

Some in the industry have asked about donations. Right now, the tragedy is too massive to even begin to figure out where is the best place to start the help and healing. Red Cross is probably a good start. As this shakes out and as we find out more about our co-workers, we can send out updates on how to help.

In the meantime, we thank you for your thoughts and prayers during this trying time.