| WILMINGTON, N.C.
WILMINGTON, N.C. Oct 16 Smithfield Foods Inc
expects to resume full production on Monday at its
North Carolina meat operations, including the world's largest
pork plant, more than a week Hurricane Matthew struck the U.S.
Southeast and triggered widespread flooding in the state.
Operations will get back to normal at Smithfield's four
North Carolina meat-packaging facilities, and at its hog
slaughtering and processing plants in Tar Heel and Clinton,
spokeswoman Joyce Fitzpatrick said on Sunday.
The Tar Heel pork plant is the world's largest, with an
estimated daily slaughter capacity of 32,500 hogs, while
Clinton has an estimated capacity of about 10,000 head,
according to National Hog Farmer magazine.
Fitzpatrick said partial operations resumed on Thursday,
after being shut down the previous Saturday, as the hurricane
tore up the Eastern Seaboard before veering into the Atlantic
Ocean off North Carolina.
The most powerful Atlantic storm since 2007, Matthew dumped
more than a foot (30 cm) of rain on eastern North Carolina's
hog farms. With the area already soaked from heavy September
rainfall, the result was near-record floods that began to
recede on Friday.
Smithfield on Saturday said none of its processing plants in
North Carolina or Virginia suffered much damage, but flooding
made it difficult to transport hogs and for employees to get to
The company, owned by China's WH Group Ltd
, also said it had a report of flood waters rising into
a pit holding hog waste at one of the farms contracted to supply
livestock to its plants.
But so far Smithfield had no reports that any of the
in-ground pits have fallen apart due to flooding of a tributary
of the Cape Fear River near Wilmington, Fitzpatrick said.
Environmental regulators and activists had raised concerns
about water inundating pits holding hog waste because flooding
after Hurricane Floyd in 1999 overwhelmed them.
(Editing by Frank McGurty and Sandra Maler)