Above is a photo of our overflow shed filled with product and packaging, only the top shelf was spared in the flood, you can tell by the dry cardboard.
We got flooded in February 2022.
It was pretty devastating, most of our stock got flooded. The stock that didn't get flooded was surrounded by flooded everything. Keeping the mud and water off it while moving it to a location that wasn't flooded was a long and painstaking process.
When we moved in we knew there was a risk we could get flooded but we were not prepared for how impacted we would be by the flooding and then the mud it left behind.
The mud was so fine that once it dried, you couldn't remove it by washing, we had to scrub every surface it touched, and the mud got on any surface the flood water touched and any surface you touched. The ground stayed wet and muddy for about 2 weeks after the flood waters subsided.
The first seven days after the flood was spent pressure cleaning the inside and outside of every building and surface we could find. We were still finding and cleaning mud off things six months after the flood. Still to this day we sometimes find a spot we missed.
While the products we make can withstand being in water and submerged in mud and just need a polish to bring them back looking good as new, we made the decision that we would recycle everything that was flooded except for a few pieces we wanted to keep.
It was a hard decision, not only did we need to spend a number of months cleaning up but we also had to do a full production run and recycle all of our damaged product. It was challenging to watch all our hard work turn back into molten metal.
It wasn't all negative though.
Our production facility was not damaged, so we could make new products, continue innovating and make things for our customers.
An unexpected positive was - you don't often find your business getting flooded and testing you, your team and your products. Our business and our team did a fantastic job of dealing with what we needed to deal with and move forward.
We realised that having products that had been sitting under floodwaters for several days was an exceptional opportunity at testing our products in a real world scenario. We took some flooded products and with a little TLC you would never know they were flooded, which we were very pleased about.
We took other flooded products and put them in ponds, fully submerged with fish, we wanted to see how well our product could withstand being submerged in water permanently. We also wanted to see how fish dealt with bronze being in their water.
We put some in gardens in locations where they would get wet and humid to test how well our products stood up to being wet and humid most of the time. We oyt other products outside where they would get wet and then very hot, the alternating climate they lived in would test our work to its extreme.
I think we were all hesitant to test our products so severely. We never designed them to be flooded, completely submerged for years, neglected, heated by the sun to over 50 degrees and had no idea how well they would deal with it. We never expected our products to hold up as well as they did.
We put some crocodile skulls in a pond and they have been there for almost 2 years. They look awesome! Check them out in the video below.
We are now fully recovered from the flood. The only reminder is the products from the flood that we are still testing, the crocodile skulls are still doing their job looking epic in the pond and our other products are still living out their lives in the garden.
Thanks for reading and thank you for supporting Bronze Betty and the Bronze Betty Team.