KBA North America, a global press manufacturer based in Dallas, Texas, announces that Marshall & Bruce Printing Company, a specialist in general commercial printing and packaging and fulfillment services, has survived the 2010 spring floods in its headquarter location of Nashville and returned to full-service printing through the aid of KBA. The historic flood, which was the worst national natural disaster in 2010, nearly destroyed the firm’s KBA Rapida 105 41-inch seven-color press with digital CIP4 signal transmission and fiber optics. More than 13 inches of rain fell in two days in Nashville and central Tennessee in early May.
“A disaster of this kind is devastating for any business,” says Chip Smith, president of Marshall & Bruce. “While the clean-up, our customer’s work, all of our supplies and equipment, and insurance were very important, the most pressing problem was our Rapida 105. If we couldn’t repair or recondition the press, we didn’t have a business. KBA came to our aid and provided an incredible team of mechanics and electricians who stayed with us for seven weeks. They came into a very difficult situation, had great attitudes throughout the process, and saw the job through to completion. I am confident that we would not be back on our feet today without the concentrated focus and support from KBA.”
The 145-year-old printing firm sits across the street from the banks of the Cumberland River, which reached nearly 12 feet above flood stage and topped out at 51.9 feet before the waters began to finally recede. Hundreds of people were rescued from their homes by boat and canoe. Thousands of residents were displaced and hundreds of businesses were flooded along with extensive damage to the Grand Old Opry, the Schermerhorn Symphony Center, and the Opryland Hotel. Marshall & Bruce was the only printing firm to be affected.
It all began the first weekend of May. After 12- to 17-inches of rain fell in a 36-hour period, Smith felt his company was safe. The rain had ended and the river waters had not crossed the road. “One of our employees, Casey Johnson, came to our facility in the middle of the night and cut the electric,” says Smith. “That was a key decision and he helped to save our company.”
By daybreak, the river water began to rise slowly. As the floodwaters began to peak on Monday afternoon, Marshall & Bruce’s facility had three feet of flood water in the plant that lasted for 36 hours.
Smith and his management team slogged through the facility and found themselves knee-deep in river water. Their KBA press had flood water up to the catwalks. Repairs had to be made to all of the pumps, motors and other systems housed below the catwalk level of the press. The electrical system on the press had to be cleaned and changed. While Smith tried to handle the immediate overwhelming shock and pain of his flooded business, a number of decisions needed to be made quickly. Smith’s brother, vice president of sales and marketing, quickly focused on their customers; Chip Smith took over the plant, equipment, insurance, and building needs. Thousands of thoughts roared through his head. Where do we begin? How do we get in touch with all the employees, customers, and vendors? What equipment is functional? What equipment will be salvageable? How will we continue business while we clean and repair the building and equipment? We have flood insurance, but will it be enough?