One of this country’s largest beef-processing plants, located in Greeley, CO, cancelled its first and second shifts today because of the flood disaster in Northern Colorado. Barb Walker, human resource supervisor for JBS USA, asked employees to stay safe by not coming into the plant that employs close to 5,000 workers.
The confluence of the South Platte and the Cache La Poudre rivers is immediately east of Greeley and not far from the JBS plant. Those rivers are draining the brunt of the five-day rain blast on Colorado’s Front Range, turning 14 counties into a disaster area.
More rain has fallen over those five days than the area normally gets in a year, damaging or destroying 19,000 homes and sending almost 12,000 people to evacuation centers.
The rampaging water has crushed state highways and bridges. Colorado Department of Transportation engineers say 30 state highway bridges have been destroyed and 20 damaged.
Floodwaters that first heavily damaged towns such as Lyons and Estes Park and the City of Boulder are pancaking across farmlands below the Rocky Mountains, stranding many of the estimated 60,000 dairy cows located near Greeley.
With beef, cheese, and other food-production facilities, Greeley itself has been an island in the storm, with all of its infrastructure remaining intact. However, road closures in all directions over the weekend made it impossible to get into the city and made travel to even nearby Fort Collins or Loveland a nightmare.
With power lost or sometimes intentionally shut off to evacuation areas, state health officials advised people returning to their homes to destroy food that likely spoiled during the flooding. FDA has posted information on how to keep food and water supplies safe during floods.© Food Safety News