Vermeer has resumed operations at its Pella manufacturing campus after an EF3 Tornado struck the facility on 19 July 2018.
The storm hit at approximately 4pm while there were more than 400 employees, customers and dealers on site for the 2018 Customer Conference.
After the storm warning sounded, all those on the campus were directed to tornado shelters on the site.
The storm caused significant structural and personal property damage across Vermeer’s facility, in particular to Plant 5, Plant 6 and the waste management facility.
Less than a week after the disaster, on 24 July the company recommenced operations and Vermeer President Industrial Solutions Doug Hundt announced that everybody that was on site during the storm had been accounted for.
“After we secured the safety of our people, we quickly moved into the rebuild mode,” said Mr Hundt.
“We’ve had people working through the weekend, and I’m proud to report today that we already have half of our plants back and operationalised of Monday morning.
“Our parts centre is also operational, so we’re shipping parts to our customers.
“The plants that were affected, we number one have a plan to restore two of those plants within the next two weeks and we’re working on a plan to reposition the two hardest hit plants.
“Those production lines should be up and running in the next 30 to 45 days in our existing facilities.”
Vermeer President and CEO Jason Andringa said the outpouring of support from dealers, customers, community and suppliers had been phenomenal.
“We are driven to get production back online and get our people back to work,” said Mr Andringa.
“Speaking of getting our people back to work, already 73 per cent of our team is back and we have more coming back every day.”
For more information visit the Vermeer website.
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