Area companies boosting production for storm relief
WHITEWATER While the effects of Hurricane Sandy are hard to predict, power failures and flooding are a certainty.
Two Walworth County manufacturers are increasing production to meet the needs of people suffering the hurricane's wrath.
"We are seeing a tremendous increase in demand, and we are running three shifts at our Whitewater distribution center to meet that demand," said Generac spokesman Art Aiello. "We are increasing shipments to our hardware store and large home center clients as well as distributions centers in the east to meet demand."
Generac manufactures several types of electric generators. Most shipments to the East Coast will be emergency portable generators. Later, Generac expects to see increased demand for home backup generators, Aiello said.
Generac manufactures a wide range of power products including portable, RV, residential, commercial and industrial generators.
Residential sump and utility pumps are in great demand, said Gary Witt, president of Pentair Flow Technologies in Delavan.
"We are proud of our ability to react to this increased demand," Witt said. "Demand was down this year due to the drought conditions, but we have the ability to ramp up production."
Pentair started receiving increased orders about a week ago as reports of the storm came in.
"We are working with our dealers and distributors such as Sears, Home Depot and Ace Hardware to get the pumps out east where they will be needed," Witt said. "Our production here in Delevan has increased to meet that demand."
Meanwhile, Madison-based Alliant Energy has dispatched more than 100 workers to the East Coast in response to a mutual aid call from utilities preparing for Hurricane Sandy's aftermath.
About 110 Alliant Energy workers from Iowa and Wisconsin departed Sunday. They planned to stage in Scranton, Penn., on Monday evening, out of the worst of the storm, and then proceed to Lake Katrine, N.Y., to help Central Hudson Gas and Electric customers. The crews have packed for a two-week stay.