Significant precipitation in the Central United States has led to near record Midwestern flooding, which is impacting Mississippi Lime’s distribution and supply capabilities. As a result, we regret to advise that Mississippi Lime is declaring a force majeure event. While the flood conditions causing this force majeure event do not affect our ability to operate our plants, our ability to distribute and supply products has been severely impacted. During the force majeure we will continue to supply product to our customers, however we expect delays and to incur additional costs that we intend to pass through as a surcharge.
Flooding on the Mississippi River forced the closure of Mississippi Lime’s barge loading facilities on May 1 and an alternate barge loading facility on May 31 and we do not anticipate re-opening our facility until the flood waters recede to a safe level. Based on reports from the Army Corps of Engineers (ACE), river operations could potentially be resumed in late June. Of course, this will depend greatly upon further changes to the weather. As we have noted in previous communications, the flood gates near our Ste. Genevieve, Missouri facility were closed by the ACE on May 3. Closure of the flood gates forces use of an alternate rail route with reduced shipment capacity, additional transit time and higher cost for both inbound and outbound shipments. Currently, we anticipate resuming rail shipments on or about June 26, although this, too, will depend greatly upon further changes to the weather. Finally, we have had to incur additional trucking costs due to limitations at supply points.
We continue to monitor the situation and exert efforts to minimize the effects of this force majeure event. At this time during this force majeure event, we expect to be able to continue supplying product to our customers, however we expect delays and to incur additional costs that we intend to pass through as surcharges. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and will continue to work diligently to keep our customers informed and supplied, as and where possible, until the flooding recedes and the force majeure event ceases.