Mississippi River Flood – 2011

June 24, 2011 – Mississippi River Flood Wrap-up

On May 6th, the flood of 2011 forced Ergon Refining to temporarily move its rail services from the refinery in Vicksburg to two transloading sites and Ergon’s Memphis terminal. As of June 14th, all rail operations at the refinery have resumed.

During this 40-day span, over 200 railcars were loaded by more than 600 truckloads at the transloading sites. Within the first two weeks of the operation, the refinery’s backlog was completely eliminated, and products shipped on schedule and according to specification.

At the same time, the Memphis terminal played an instrumental role by modifying their barge dock to receive product from Vicksburg. Their actions allowed the refinery to transfer the balance of its rail business to Memphis until the flood had subsided.

Because of the hard work and dedication of personnel from Ergon Trucking, Magnolia Marine, Ergon Refining – Terminal Operations, Safety Department, Supply & Distribution, Customer Service and many others, ERI’s rail customers remained in supply throughout the flood. Ergon extends its utmost gratitude to everyone involved for a job extremely well done.


June 1, 2011 – Mississippi River Flood Update

Earlier this month flooding in the lower Mississippi caused incoming crude shipments to be delayed. In response, the refinery had intermittently reduced its production rate from maximums. In spite of the scale of the flooding and the challenges presented, the facility has operated without interruption since the flood began.

ERI makes every effort to avoid disruptions to our customers by maintaining inventory levels that typically exceed industry norms. The events surrounding the flood have lowered inventories to below those targeted levels, however, the refinery is again operating at maximum capacity in order to restore inventories to normal levels.

We expect rail services at the refinery to be restored within a few weeks. Meanwhile, rail shipments will continue to be managed with existing transload operations.


May 26, 2011 – Mississippi River Flood Update

The crest of the Mississippi River has moved south to Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Thanks to the tireless efforts of Ergon's family of employees, the refinery has weathered the worst of the flood without interruption.

Rail service to the harbor is not expected to be restored until June 15th or later. However, we have fully caught up on all backlogged rail orders by using the alternate loading sites.

As the floodwaters recede, Ergon will continue to monitor the situation and make adjustments as needed on a day-to-day basis.

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May 19, 2011 – Mississippi River Flood Update – Current Level – 57.1 ft., (17.4 meters)

The Mississippi River in Vicksburg has reached its crest today at 57.1 ft., slightly lower than the previously anticipated level of 57.5 ft. Current projections are that the river will remain at this stage through the 22nd of the month before river levels begin to drop.

The refinery has operated without interruption during this monumental flood. Operations at alternate rail loading sites continue to improve.

Due to sporadic river closures, there have been some delays in barge traffic around Natchez, MS. Going forward, the US Coast Guard has stated that the Mississippi River will remain open as the crest moves south through Natchez.

At its crest, the flood peaked at a foot higher than has ever been recorded. Ergon will remain on constant alert until the water recedes to a safe level, and operations return to normal.

Photos taken May 18th. The river level is only inches below the crest.

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May 17, 2011 – Mississippi River Flood Update – Current Level – 57.0ft., (17.4 meters).

Operations continue at the refinery as we near the projected crest date of May 19th. The anticipated crest level remains at 57.5 ft., (17.5 meters).

Flood levels are expected to remain in place for several weeks after the crest, but we expect that the worst will soon be behind us.

Alternate Rail loading sites are now functioning at rates typical to normal operation and continue to gain momentum. We are increasing the number of rail cars loaded daily to make up for lost time. As for barge traffic, unpredictable river closures are causing some delays. However, we are continually coming up with creative solutions to keep volume on the move.

Ergon will continue to monitor and provide updates on the situation. As always, we greatly appreciate the tenacity of our staff and the support of our customers.


May 13, 2011 – Mississippi River Flood Update – Current Level – 55.5 ft., (16.9 meters).

The refinery remains operational as we approach the projected crest date of May 19th. The anticipated crest level remains at 57.5 ft., (17.5 meters).

Logistics are still challenging, but we are working diligently to keep operations running as efficiently as possible.

Relocating the rail loading locations and re-routing empty rail cars have caused rail shipping delays. However, the alternate rail loading sites are gaining momentum and nearing normal capacity.

Truck movements to and from the refinery are running smoothly due to the dedication of the refinery staff. In conjunction with the MS DOT, they have built dikes to protect 500 ft. of roadway that would otherwise have flooded.

We appreciate the patience and understanding of our customers as we deal with this historic natural disaster.


May 9, 2011 – Mississippi River Flood Update

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has modified the flood’s projected crest date to May 19th. The anticipated crest level of 57.5ft (17.5 meters) remained the same.

Flood gates in Vicksburg were installed last Thursday stopping all rail traffic on the harbor. Rail trans-load facilities began operations on Friday, and all alternate rail loading locations will be operational later this week.

As an added precaution, additional levees have been added to the dike walls surrounding the refinery.

Ergon is actively monitoring the situation. Our current plans are to remain operational throughout the flood and minimize refinery disruption, but if conditions change, we will adjust those plans accordingly.


May 5, 2011 - Mississippi River Flood Update - Current level - 47.89 ft, (14.6 meters).

The US Army Corps of Engineers has moved its projected flood crest back to May 20th but has maintained its projected level of 57.5 ft., (17.5 meters), and is expected to remain at or near that level in excess of 10 days.

Ergon has made provisions to continue refinery operations throughout the flood and to minimize refinery disruption. Contingency plans are in place if events change.

Logistics remain challenging but alternate shipping locations have been established and will begin operations this week. The possibility of minor delays remains as we transition to these alternate shipping locations.

While we remain optimistic, based on current projections, we are constantly monitoring the situation and will update, as necessary, if conditions warrant any changes in operations or projections.


May 4, 2011 - Continuing Updates on Ergon Refining's Flood Status

Late Tuesday afternoon, the US Army Corps of Engineers revised its projected crest for the Mississippi River at Vicksburg to 57' 6" (17.5 meters), four feet (1.2 meters) higher than the previous projection.

At this revised crest, operations at Ergon Refining in Vicksburg will be interrupted and, therefore, supply disruptions over the entire product line are anticipated.

Information is constantly being updated and evaluated concerning the details of the flood crest. Therefore, the extent and timing of the product supply disruptions are not known and cannot be addressed at this time.

However, Ergon's staff is working diligently to minimize supply interruptions to our customers. We are developing alternate delivery options to minimize potential disruptions.

Ergon is committed to providing its customers the same consistent products and customer service, regardless of what nature puts in our path. 

 

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