Agricultural and industrial equipment manufacturer Vermeer Corporation was hit hard on Thursday by a tornado in Pella, Iowa. A Des Moines Register article says several plants on the campus suffered significant damage and the waste management facility was a total loss.
The tornado hit at the same time the company had over 400 extra people on site to celebrate its 70th anniversary. Vermeer CEO Jason Andringa says employees and visitors were immediately taken to tornado shelters on site. That quick action kept injuries to a minimum, which included seven people going to the hospital with minor injuries. There were other injuries that didn’t require a hospital visit.
Andringa says there is significant structural and property damage across the campus. “Plants four and seven, as well as our advanced system testing facility, need assessments before we can figure out the damage and the ability to continue operations,” he says. “Plants five and six both have significant damage that will likely make it hard to continue operations.” Andringa says the company has survived a lot of challenges in seven decades of doing business and will do it again.