APRIL 20, 2012

“We are going under.”

That was the message sent out across Facebook and Email as employees of Sampan Screen Print in Utica, IN read Ohio River flooding reports from the Army Corps of Engineers April 24 of last year.

More than 100 volunteers and 4 semi-trucks showed up within hours to help Sampan evacuate their offices and move 3 buildings full of heavy equipment to a temporary facility in Louisville.

“We had been through major flooding before in 1997, so we knew what to do,” said General Manager, Elaine Kittrell.  “Our number one concern was making sure our clients received their shirts on time.”

Employees and volunteers worked around the clock to set up a temporary shop until the waters receded and worked to rebuild their gutted buildings.

“I’m really thankful for our staff,” Kittrell said. “We’re like a family and they really came through for us and our clients.”

Kittrell said that though the company took a big financial hit from the floods, rebuilding of the facilities from scratch has helped them become more efficient and increase overall business.

“I think we’re stronger today than we were a year ago, even in the downturned economy,” Kittrell said. “We already print most of the shirts in Southern Indiana and a good number of the signs. Now we’re expanding our market share in Louisville, and nationwide sales from has increased significantly. That being said, we’ll be happy to wait another 20 years before another flood.”

To commemorate the flooding, Sampan Screen Print will be posting the pictures and past flood alerts to their Facebook site at starting April 24, 2012.

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