Flooding in Michigan State has affected an industrial site owned by Dow, one of the International Olympic Committee's worldwide sponsors ©Getty Images

Flooding in the north of the United States has impacted an industrial site owned by Dow, the giant chemicals company which is a worldwide sponsor of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), forcing the shutdown of on-site operating units.

According to the New York Times, floodwater from two breached dams in Michigan flowed into the complex yesterday.

The newspaper reported that the compound, beside the Tittabawassee river in Midland, also houses Dow’s world headquarters.

The water was said to be potentially threatening a toxic clean-up site further down the river and encroaching on some parts of the downtown area.

In a statement, Dow said it had been confirmed yesterday that "there were flood waters commingling with on-site containment pools" and that it had "immediately partnered with the US Coast Guard to activate emergency plans".

The company said all operating units on site had been "safely shutdown, except for facilities needed for safely managing chemical containment."

It said its local emergency operations centre was "fully activated" and "implementing its flood preparedness plan".

Only essential staff are onsite to "monitor and manage the situation with no reported employee injuries".

The company, whose presence in Michigan State dates back to 1897, the year after the first modern Olympics, said it would "continue to engage with our site tenants and Midland County officials and take immediate action to ensure the safety and security of our employees, community and the environment".

Materials science company Dow has been a member of the IOC's worldwide sponsors programme since 2010 ©Getty Images
Materials science company Dow has been a member of the IOC's worldwide sponsors programme since 2010 ©Getty Images

Dow has been a member of The Olympic Partner (TOP) worldwide sponsorship programme since 2010.

Its exclusive category is chemicals, raw materials and compounds used across selected industries.

Its involvement in the actual Olympic Games has included field-of-play technologies in sports ranging from hockey to ice-skating, venue construction and energy efficiency.

The company, which employs some 37,000 people, last month reported net income of $258 million (£210.8 million/€235.4 million) for the first three months of the calendar year on net sales of $9.77 billion (£7.98 billion/€8.8 billion).

Jim Fitterling, chairman and chief executive, said the group was beginning to see "indications of a recovery from COVID-19 in China", while adding that the "full extent of the impact of the pandemic in other major geographies is still being determined as the virus continues to spread".

The company was "taking immediate and additional proactive measures", including cutting capital expenditure and temporarily idling "select manufacturing units".

It would "ensure availability of products essential to consumers and instrumental to containing the global pandemic, such as hand sanitiser and materials for personal protective equipment".

It said that "assuming a gradual and sustainable return of global economic activity and reopening of economies in May and June, we expect a recovery will begin to take hold as the year progresses".

The company has been a focus of corporate activity in recent times, having merged with rivals DuPont in 2017, prior to being spun out again as a separate chemicals and plastics group.