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In Sink: March Madness Has A New Meaning

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By Dean Sink, Mickey President

Dean Sink

Dean Sink

I know we’re not going to receive, nor do we deserve, any sympathy from the people in the Midwest and Northeast, but this has truly been the winter of our discontent here in the Piedmont-Triad region of North Carolina. Snow, ice, freezing rain, high winds and bone chilling cold came one after another and sometimes all at once, and then they started all over again.

Our weather here has given new meaning to the term “March Madness.” On March 7, High Point got hit with a devastating ice storm. A half-inch of ice coated our trees and power lines, leaving thousands of homes and businesses without power for several days. That same day, winds gusted up to 35 mph, which knocked down all the ice-covered trees and power lines and forced many of our roads to close, including those surrounding our main plant on Trinity Ave.

Heavy snow and freezing rain downed many trees on major roads throughout the region.

Heavy snow and freezing rain downed many trees on major roads throughout the region.

And that storm came close on the heels of an earlier winter blast of snow, which followed an even earlier drubbing.

Then came the middle of the month, and finally we thought we were out of the woods – or at least out from under them. Phil Badgett, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service out of Raleigh, NC, went so far as to announce: “Once you get to around the 15th or so of March, getting something severe [in NC] would be very unusual.”

You’ve heard of the saying: “From his lips to god’s ear?” Sure enough, on March 18 we got hit with more frozen rain, more icy roads, more hazardous travel, loss of power, etc., etc., etc.

I know it was an incredibly difficult winter in many parts of the country, and my heart goes out to everyone who endured. But this is North Carolina – we’re not supposed to have difficult winters; and we’re not as prepared as other parts of the country.

If nothing else, we learned something about ourselves this winter. We’re strong; we persevere;  we want to go to work; we’re resourceful; and we honor our commitments. I’m talking about North Carolinians; and I’m talking about Mickey employees.

Harsh winter weather forced Mickey to close its main plant for 3.5 days since January.

Harsh winter weather forced Mickey to close its main plant for 3.5 days since January.

We had to close our plant in High Point due to weather for 3.5 days since January. I go back with Mickey to the 1970s, and I can tell you we have never had 3.5 days of unscheduled plant closings in any single year before this. Closing our plant is not a decision we take lightly. But first and foremost is the safety of our employees. We could not expect them to travel the local roads in those conditions, even on the days we did not lose power.

Our production schedules were tight before the closings. They’re even tighter now. But our employees are absolutely dedicated to getting back up to schedule hopefully by the time you read this – weather permitting, of course. They want to work. They want to provide for their families. And they want to live up to our reputation as a world class manufacturer that meets or exceeds customer expectations. So we are working extra shifts during the week, and full shifts on Saturday. We will catch up, and the winter of 2014 will be a distant memory.

I want to personally thank your for your business, and your patience. We will not let you down.

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