A. O. Smith Corporation (NYSE: AOS), a leader in water heating and water treatment, will host a celebration on Thursday, Aug. 25, at 9 a.m. CDT, marking the completion of a nearly 7,000-foot earthen berm, flood gates and pumping stations surrounding the A. O. Smith Ashland City manufacturing plant, the city’s water treatment facility and the Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation substation. The 20-month project is the culmination of a 12-year collaboration among the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, the State of Tennessee, Tennessee Department of Transportation, Cheatham County, town of Ashland City and A. O. Smith.
Local government officials, along with the Company’s leadership team, will gather for a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the reopening of a portion of the road that has been closed for more than a year and runs adjacent to the A. O. Smith plant. Tennessee Deputy Governor Butch Eley; Ashland City Mayor J. T. Smith; and Stan Settles, representing Senator Bill Hagerty’s office, will be in attendance.
“I couldn’t be more pleased to witness the progress and completion of this project,” said Mayor Smith. “It was truly a team effort and one that would not be possible without the commitment of A. O. Smith. These improvements will help keep our local businesses, residents and homes safe from future flooding disasters.”
In May 2010, a record 13.57 inches of rain fell in a 36-hour period over Middle Tennessee, causing the Cumberland River to crest 52 feet. Roughly 1,700 feet east of the river’s banks, A. O. Smith’s Ashland City plant was inundated, shutting down operations for four weeks and costing the Company $66 million to fully recover. The project will ensure Ashland City, its water treatment facility, the local power utility’s substation, and A. O. Smith operations will be safe from the next 500-year flood.
The $16.6 million project was funded by a combination of public and private entities.
“This project is a prime example of one of our company’s values in action – ‘A. O. Smith will be a good citizen’ – working to protect the people who live and work in the city we’ve called home since 1961,” said Dave Warren, president and general manager of the Company’s North America Water Heating business, headquartered in Ashland City. “This project was vital to the community and our long-term sustainability in this town.”