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Audionics caught up in UK flooding crisis

test 3 July 2007

UK: The harsh realities of the current appalling weather conditions across Britain were brought home to one unfortunate pro audio manufacturer last week. Audionics found itself at the centre of a major flooding incident surrounding its Brightside, Sheffield base, when the nearby River Don burst its banks on June 25th, writes David Davies.

While the river waters quickly flooded large parts of Sheffield’s industrial area, the situation was compounded by continuing heavy rain. By the early evening of the 25th, more of the area’s flood defences had been breached and Audionics found itself under 30cm of water. Meanwhile, exiting from the company’s site in Jessops Riverside Business Park was impossible, with the only road out of the area blocked by the flood.

Having moved computers, stock and work-in-progress to second floor offices, Audionics staff posted banners in their windows informing the Air Sea Rescue helicopters attending to the industrial area that all company employees were accounted for. It was only at 5.30 the following morning – after a night with no power, lighting or telephone lines – that the waters had receded sufficiently for Audionics staff to leave the area.

While it will be some time before the consequences of the incident are fully resolved, Audionics director Phil Myers tells PSN-e that work has now resumed. “We have cleaned up enough to enable production to continue, but it will be a couple of months before the building is fully back to normal,” he says. “We have just had the insurance loss adjusters ’round, and they have given the green light to commence replacing stud wall plastering, redecorating, replacing the air-conditioning plant, etc. [However] there is basically no effect on our ability to do business.”

Audionics’ present commitments include major orders for Sky Italia, GCap Media and Guardian Media Group. The company’s extensive product range has recently been expanded with a new range of LAN-enabled devices, comprising the eWM88 eight-channel mixer, eMX88 8×8 audio router and eMM88 8×8 stereo combiner.

Sheffield – once part of the UK’s manufacturing heartland – is among the cities most badly affected by the current flooding. A number of lives have been lost, while damage costs are expected to run into millions of pounds.

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