One of the biggest challenges Conner faced this year was the devastation of our Panama City, Florida plant when Hurricane Michael roared ashore in October 2018. This Category 4 storm toppled building, sheared off trees, destroyed basic utility services, and left roads impassable for days, and ended up being the strongest storm to hit the Florida Panhandles since 1851.
Not only were our employees in the area left without basic services (food, water, sewage, electricity) for weeks, but many of them also lost their homes, cars, and personal possessions in the storm. The Panama City plant itself fared no better. Our buildings collapsed under Michael’s wind gusts, equipment was buried under debris, and trucks were unable to reach the plant.
In typical Conner fashion, the team pulled together to not only help plant families get through some very trying circumstances, but also to bring back the plant and service customers during the crisis. Conner employees from throughout the company dug deep and donated over $40,000 to help employees at the Panama City plant with their basic needs and volunteered countless hours to helping them get back on their feet.
And it didn’t stop there. The Hogansville and Lugoff plants temporarily took over the work from Panama City to keep customer disruptions to a minimum. That’s one of the advantages of owning multiple plants across the nation to take over production during an emergency, not to mention having great customers who stood with us as we transitioned operations, and many offers of help from friends throughout the industry. You can read more about our Panama City recovery here.