The Black Hills Iron Works in South Dakota has become a virtual ghost town, with no workers and no equipment.
As of Wednesday morning, the facility had been shut down by the South Dakota Department of Environmental Management (DEEM), which has declared the facility an inactive industrial site.
As a result, the plant’s entire workforce is being sent home, with the only workers still being employed at the facility.
According to a press release from DEEM, the workers will be “put to work in the field or on the construction sites and will be provided with food and water for up to 30 days.”
That’s quite a lot of food and a good deal of water for an inactive facility.
But what’s left of the workforce is now being put to work as well.
“The work force will continue to be supported by a number of subcontractors who will assist in the building and repairing of equipment and other supplies needed by the Black Hills facility,” DEEM states in the press release.
The Black Hill Iron Works is one of only two active steel production facilities in the United States.
According the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the Black Hill is the only active steel manufacturing facility in the country that employs more than 25,000 people.
That’s not surprising, since the facility’s output of steel is the highest in the US.
The other is the nearby Black Hills steel mill in nearby Wesson, where Black Hills produces a large amount of aluminum.
But the Black Hole has no workforce and no workforce at all.
“All of the work that is currently being done by the workforce and the equipment is being outsourced to the subcontractors,” said the BLS.
“For those who are still in the plant, the work is being done remotely.
We’re not using any of the equipment that the workers used to build,” Black Hills spokesperson Jeff Dufault told MSNBC.
“In terms of the infrastructure, the only part of the plant that is open is the welding area.
There are no electric generators, no heating, no cooling.”
The Black Hole is one out of several steel plants across the US that are still shut down due to the hurricane.
And many of the workers that were sent home from the Black Rock City plant are still working there.
The only thing that’s still running is the power to the welding equipment.
“When we last checked, we were having problems with water and the heat,” said employee Mark Neschlack, who was one of the last workers on the job when the storm hit.
“I’m going to try and get up there this weekend and try and take care of some of the heat.”
Dufaults statement about the Black Iron is vague.
“It’s still under construction.
I think they have a lot to work on,” Dufaut said.
The employees are working on getting their equipment back online.
“We have a big backlog of stuff,” Dafault said.
“Our biggest issue is the welders and the machines, the tools, the stuff that’s going to come out of the machines.
So we’re trying to figure out what that will look like.”
But while the Black Hammer works to keep the workers out of their facility, the Black House and the Black River Iron Works are still operating.
“Black House and Black River are doing a lot,” Daffault said, adding that the Black Hollows workers are still at work.
“So the work on the Black house is going on.
We have a bunch of new welders, we have a couple of new machinists coming in,” he said.
But Dufaux has no word on when they’ll reopen.
“If you have a contractor, you want them to be able to do the work and get paid,” he added.
“They’re going to be working on the site.”
A spokesperson for the South Carolina Department of Transportation confirmed that both the Black Holes and the South Atlantic Steel Works are operating as normal.
However, the spokesperson also pointed out that while there are no active workers on site at the South Holes, the South African Steel Works workers have been ordered to return home.
The spokesperson said that the South Charleston Iron Works workers were sent back to South Carolina, but it is not clear if they will be able come back home.
“As of this morning, South Charleston is closed.
We are working with the South Africa Steel Works to see if we can bring back the South American workers who were sent out and re-enter the United State,” the spokesperson told MSNBC by email.
The South Carolina State Department of Labor told MSNBC that it was not aware of any workers who had returned to South Dakota.
As we reported earlier, the shutdown at the Black Forge and Black Hills facilities has resulted in a shortage of steel and other commodities, with some workers taking to social media to vent their frustrations.
“Why can’t they just build more?” one Twitter user asked.
“This is the real issue,” another asked.
South Dakota Gov.
Dennis Daugaard sent