HIGH RIVER, Alberta – Cargill Meat Solutions' High River beef plant is closed due to severe flooding in surrounding areas.

Cargill spokesman Mike Martin said the beef slaughter plant has been closed since June 20, and will remain closed June 23. The plant is not in jeopardy, but many Cargill employees' homes have been flooded, Martin said. Roads and the local fresh water supply also have been impacted by the flooding, he said. Fabrication may resume June 24, while harvesting could re-start on June 25.

“Much will depend on the availability of fresh water,” Martin said. “Cargill is working with government at all levels to assist those who have been impacted by the flooding. First and foremost is to ensure the safety of our employees and their families, then help others in need throughout the community to the degree we can do so.”

The plant normally employs about 2,000 people processing up to 4,500 cattle per day.

Heavy rains have damaged several regions of southern Alberta, Canada. Flooding has forced most major feedlot operators to halt purchases of replacement cattle in the past week, according to local news reports.