Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Edmonton Journal: Highwood Distillers' Flood Recovery

Barry Wilde, President of Highwood Distillers.
The staff at Highwood Distillers had about six minutes to get out of the distillery. Still, on their exit two feet of water had flooded 1st Street in High River. Many were later stranded in their cars on the surreal drive home.

The Highwood River often floods the deck of the centre street bridge, but this year on June 20th, it did the unimaginable: it flooded most of the town.

Much of the distillery's spirits ready for shipping were destroyed, however, their whisky stocks were saved. When I toured their facility, 40 days after the flood, staff had worked 30,000 hours for 30 days. 300 trips had been made to the dump. While their losses were yet to be tallied, Barry Wilde, President of Highwood Distillers, said with a hint of resignation, "It represents millions of dollars of lost product and revenue." They still do not know if their bottling line can be repaired: and store stocks dwindle.

This Spotlight on Small Business feature was was printed in the Edmonton Journal on August 23, 2013 and the Calgary Herald on August 24, 2013.

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