CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA When the Cedar River crested near 32 feet in mid-June, it reached its highest point in recorded history. In addition to breaking records, the flood shattered homes, businesses and lives.
Many parts of the area were under nearly 10 feet of water and a total of 1,300 city blocks lost power due to the heavy flooding. Cummins Power Generation supplied 35 Rental Power units to 18 companies, helping Cedar Rapids power its recovery with more than 25 MW of emergency electricity.
One example is Cryovac Food Packaging, a division of Sealed Air Corp. Cryovac manufactures plastic storage bags used in food packaging by customers around the world. The company runs a 24-hour production operation five days a week, with additional weekend hours. When the flooding caused widespread utility outages on June 12, with floodwaters still rising and no restoration in sight, plant managers needed to act quickly.
Cryovac made the decision to order Cummins Power Generation Rental Power units mobile power units that include a generator set and control in a sound-attenuated housing. The first unit arrived within 10 hours, and by midnight all three Rental Power units including one 2 MW unit, one 1.5 MW unit and one 750 kW -- had been delivered to Cryovac. By 7:30 a.m. the following morning, a mere 48 hours after utility power was lost, the plant was operating at full production.
Packaging is a key link in the farm-to-table food chain, which made quick restoration of power a necessity. "If we hadn't been able to get back up and running, our production would have been behind; then our customers would have been behind in their packaging process, which could have led to food spoilage and a lower product output," said Harlin Hawkins, maintenance facilities manager, Cryovac. "Everyone involved would have suffered."
Hawkins added that while the flood situation in Iowa is tragic and will require a long recovery process, the Cummins Power Generation Rental Power units and the distributors who delivered the units quickly helped to make the experience more tolerable.
It will take years for Cedar Rapids to fully repair the damage from the devastating floods of 2008. But business owners in the area found consolation in the fact that Rental Power units were available fast to start the recovery effort. In addition to helping Cryovac, Cummins distributors -- such as Cummins Atlantic LLC, Cummins Bridgeway LLC, Cummins Mid-South LLC, and Cummins NPower LLC -- supplied mobile Rental Power units to 17 other businesses, including telecommunications companies, hotels and grocery stores essential to getting Cedar Rapids back on its feet.
Along with serving businesses, Cummins Power Generation is supporting the entire community with trailerized weatherproof generator sets that are being used to supply power to pump water away from underground utility transformers and to run dehumidifiers in numerous locations throughout the city.
Some Rental Power units will be running through the summer and into October while cleanup continues. Mike Herron, plan maintenance agreements and rental manager, Cummins Central Power LLC, said the company is committed to lending a hand to the community throughout the recovery process. "We mobilized quickly to solve our customers' problems and help the community," Herron said. "We helped make the pain go away, and that's what it is all about in our business."
Cummins Power Generation is an international supplier of Rental Power systems from 35 kW to 2 MW for prime, emergency, standby, peak shaving and distributed generation applications. Industries served include construction, data centers, entertainment, government, health care, hospitality, institutional, manufacturing, media, mining, oil and gas, retail, services, telecommunications, utilities and more.
Cummins Power Generation, a subsidiary of Cummins Inc. (NYSE: CMI), is a global leader dedicated to increasing the availability and reliability of electric power around the world. With more than 80 years' experience, its global distributor network delivers innovative solutions for any power need -- commercial, industrial, recreational, emergency and residential. Products include alternators, generator-drive engines and pre-integrated power systems, combining generator sets and power control and transfer technologies. Services range from system design, project management, financing and operation and maintenance contracts to development of turnkey power plants.
For more information, contact Debby Wadsworth, Cummins Power Generation, 1400 73rd Ave. NE, Minneapolis, MN 55432. Phone 763-574-5395, fax 763-574-5811. Or visit the Web site at http://www.cumminspower.com/rental.