NEW YORK Torrential rains
in and around Chicago caused highway closures and headaches for
some area metals companies toward the end of this week,
although most reported minimal lasting impact.
Multiple roads were shut down in
suburbs of Chicago, including Downers Grove, Ill., home of
TMK-Ipsco, a subsidiary of Moscow-based OAO TMK. The company
had closed its facilities in the area for the day, a spokesman
said April 18, noting that the closures were "administrative
only" and not expected to affect operations.
Meanwhile, a Chicago-area steel
producer has asked some suppliers to temporarily hold truck
shipments of scrap into one of its mills due to flooding,
according to one area scrap broker. Shipping to the mill is
expected to resume April 24, the broker said.
Some scrap sources in the area
reported slight disruptions to their operations, but no yards
were reported closed and the majority of players surveyed
reported no impact.
"(It is) extremely intense and
(there are) problems all around, but (we are) operating as
normally as one can during a flood," one stainless
scrap processor said. "Loads are coming and going. Drivers are
"Streets and underpasses (are)
flooded, reducing inbound flow truck traffic (in the) short
term," a source at a large ferrous scrap company added.
However, the company "(doesnt) expect to be hindered more
than 48 hours," the source said.
Some market players said they
expect flooding to cause a short-term slowdown in scrap flows,
though any longer-term impact is still unclear. "(It) all
depends on the duration," a Chicago-based ferrous scrap
supplier said. "If the rain stops today, there probably will be
little to no effect."
Los Angeles-based Reliance Steel
& Aluminum Co. was "not seeing any issues" at its
Chicago-area operations, according to chairman and chief
executive officer David Hannah. "Apparently, everything is up
and running," he told AMM. However, he noted that some
employees were unable to get to work due to washed-out roads,
while the home basements of others had been flooded and needed
to be pumped out.
"The inclement weather in
Northwest Indiana has had no significant impact on our
operations or our ability to serve our customers," a
spokeswoman for Chicago-based ArcelorMittal USA LLC told
AMM in an e-mail.
Sean Davidson and Catherine Ngai, New York, and Frank
Haflich, Los Angeles, contributed to this story.