At the end of January 1910, Bosch associates in Paris were greeted by a scene of devastation. A freak flood had brought life in Paris to a standstill, submerging the city in several feet of water. Just five years after it had opened, the Bosch factory for magneto ignition systems literally went under.
At the end of January 1910, a deluge of relentless rain and melting snow caused the Seine to rise from 3.80 meters to a record level of 8.60 meters, flooding the French capital. The Bosch factory for magneto ignition systems didn’t escape the rising waters. The only way associates could get to work was on rafts and in boats. They were greeted by a scene of devastation, with bits of machinery and furniture floating everywhere. The water was so deep in the factory halls that the associates in their boats were able to float over the top of the machine tools. Any normal work was out of the question. Instead, everyone had to roll up their sleeves and try to save what they could. It took about two weeks for the water to recede. Only then were the associates able to clean the machines and get them working again – and production resumed after eight days.
Flooding is still an issue at Bosch. Many plants close to bodies of water face the threat of flooding to a greater or lesser extent. Predictive planning, comprehensive protective measures such as retention basins and protective barriers, and the company’s own disaster management help to prevent floods or, in an actual emergency, limit the damage as much as possible.