Flooding has cost an estimated $1 billion in damage in Cedar Rapids, Ia. alone.
Vending and foodservice operators in flooded areas of the Midwest had business operations disrupted for as long as two weeks and were getting back to normal in late June. The flooding, which reportedly broke more than 35 levees, struck towns in the Mississippi River basin. Water levels peaked in St. Louis, Mo. at 37.27 feet, lower than earlier forecast and below the record of 49.58 feet set in 1993.
In submerged Cedar Rapids, Ia., the PepsiAmericas Inc. plant was evacuated.
Vending and foodservice operators in affected regions said most of the flooding hurt residential areas more than businesses, but operators were forced to reroute deliveries and many accounts were closed temporarily.
Automatic Vending Service Inc. in Burlington, Ia. was forced to move equipment from accounts, noted Brendan Markey, co-owner. Some OCS equipment could not be saved. One employee who lived in Gulfport, Ill. lost his home but was able to find housing with relatives, Markey noted. The company donated ice, snacks and coffee to repair crews.
Hasty Tasty Food Service Inc., based in Davenport, Ia., was forced to use lengthy, alternate routes due to road closures, noted Galen Starkweather, owner. He said deliveries were halted for several days. In addition, some employees missed a few days of work to repair flooded basements.
CL Swanson Corp., based in Madison, Wis., removed equipment from some accounts, noted Jeff Parks, president. He said locations were closed in Cedar Rapids, Ia. and in Jefferson, Wis. and Fort Atkinson, Wis.
The most devastating impact will be from the cost of lost crops, which will affect operators nationwide.
Crop damage in Iowa alone reportedly surpassed $2.7 billion, nearly half of it in just one town, Cedar Rapids. Corn prices reportedly hit an all-time high near $8 a bushel in late June, but many other crops were also devastated, especially wheat in Missouri and Nebraska and soybeans in Indiana and Kentucky.
Refreshment service companies contributed to flood recovery efforts.
» Court rules currency discriminates against the blind; NAMA mulls its options
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that because different denominations of paper money are indistinguishable by touch, the government is discriminating against blind people, according to news reports. The decision could force the Treasury Department to make significant changes to currency, such as printing different-sized bills for different amounts or giving them raised markings.
The court issued the ruling in response to a lawsuit by the American Council of the Blind. The government has been fighting the case for about six years and could appeal the ruling. The National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA) will look into the next steps that should be taken to protect the vending industry. NAMA initially responded to this issue when the first lawsuit was filed against the U.S. Treasury by the American Council of the Blind which said U.S. currency should be redesigned to help blind and visually impaired people distinguish among denominations.
» J. M. Smucker Co. to acquire Folgers from Procter & Gamble Co. for $3.3 billion
The J. M. Smucker Co. and Procter & Gamble Co. announced a definitive agreement to merge the Folgers coffee business into The J. M. Smucker Co. in an all-stock reverse transaction valued at approximately $3.3 billion, including the assumption of an estimated $350 million of Folgers debt.
As part of the transaction, Smucker will issue a one-time special dividend of $5 per share to Smucker shareholders as of the record date, prior to the merger.Following this one-time special dividend, Procter & Gamble shareholders will receive approximately 53.5 percent of Smucker in a tax-free stock-for-stock merger.
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