Financial services companies, employees and producers are doing their part to cope with the “500-year level” flooding in Iowa.
Heavy rains and overflowing rivers have forced communities throughout Iowa to evacuate low-lying areas, including some commercial areas.
On Friday, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, lost the use of its city hall and the use of all but 1 of the 6 wells that provide drinking water. By Sunday, the city had restored some of its capacity but could still supply only about 50% as much water as it had been supplying.
Residents are continuing to try to wall in water and protect buildings with sandbags. They also are working to evacuate, help evacuees, and rescue people and pets stranded by high water.
AEGON N.V., The Hague, Netherlands, has major operations in Cedar Rapids, including a headquarters operation for Transamerica Corp.
AEGON USA is letting workers take time off to sandbag against the flooding, and the Web site of the Cedar Rapids Gazette features a photograph of an AEGON employee, Cristal Tanner, holding a bag as someone else shovels sand into it.
Principal Financial Group Inc., Des Moines, Iowa, reports that its main offices are not in an evacuation area.
“While a few of our Iowa facilities have been impacted to varying degrees by flooding in the Midwest, business continues as usual with work directed as needed to offices outside of the affected areas,” Principal says.
Principal is letting employees take time off to sandbag and help with United Way flood efforts, according to the Des Moines Register.
Wellmark Inc., Des Moines, the parent of Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield, reports that it is complying with a voluntary evacuation of “500-year flood plain” areas in downtown Des Moines.
Wellmark started releasing employees in phases, to avoid creating traffic problems, at 3:30 p.m. Friday.
Wellmark’s Des Moines customer service center closed at 3:30 p.m. Friday.
“As of now, Monday business operations in Des Moines are expected to be business-as-usual,” the company says in a statement on its Web site. “However, that situation could change, and if it does, it will be reported here.”
Wellmark’s Cedar Rapids office is closed due to flood waters and mandatory evacuation orders. The office had 3 feet of water in it on Thursday, and employees have “moved critical equipment and files to the second floor,” the company says.
The Cedar Rapids offices will continue to be closed Monday, and employees who work in those offices are supposed to ask their managers for instructions.
The Cedar Rapids customer service office has forwarded its telephones to Des Moines, and the closure of the Cedar Rapids office has not affected claims operations, Wellmark says.
“Business continuity and recovery plans are in place should both Des Moines and Cedar Rapids operations be impacted,” Wellmark says.