From Doug Hundt , President, Industrial Solutions
To our valued industry partners:
On Thursday, July 19, an EF3 tornado hit the Pella, Iowa, campus of Vermeer, causing significant damage to several of our manufacturing and support facilities. We are thankful that only a few minor injuries were sustained and all individuals who were treated were released from the hospital the same day.
The outpouring of concern and support from our community and our friends across our industries has been overwhelming. Seeing your emails, texts and posts on social media means more to us than we can express. The dedication, quickness and compassion of local emergency responders that was demonstrated in caring for our team members, dealer personnel and customers and helping cleanup have been crucial.
While our first order of business has been the safety and support of our team members, we have also made great progress in resuming the operations needed to support our customers. Within 12 hours, we had our parts distribution center, which received only minor damage, back online to support all emergency orders, and it was back in full operation on Monday, July 23. And of course, our parts distribution center in Europe was unaffected.
In addition, many of our product lines were back in full production on Monday, July 23, including our specialty tooling, specialty excavation (large track equipment), solar and Forage product lines. By mid-week, we had 72% of our team back at work. We expect that the primary production facility for our tree care, landscaping and small pedestrian trenching products will be back online the week of July 30, and the facility for our horizontal directional drills and reclaimers will be following shortly thereafter. We and our dealers are working closely together to coordinate inventory across our dealer network to provide support and products to our customers when and where they are needed.
We believe last week’s events, as devastating as they were, were just a temporary setback. Our resolve – just like that of our customers – is as strong as our yellow iron. We appreciate the many offers to help in the clean-up or provide support to our team members. At this time, we have the necessary resources available to continue the clean- up and rebuilding. The Well, a Pella-based non-profit organization, is heading up an effort to provide interim assistance and support, such as insurance deductibles, vehicle replacement and work disruption, to Vermeer team members, as well as other Iowans, impacted by the storm. The Vermeer Charitable Foundation is donating a grant to support The Well’s tornado relief efforts. If anyone would like to contribute to these efforts, we encourage them to work with The Well by visiting thewelliowa.org/tornado-relief-fund.
We appreciate all the support and your continued partnership and belief in Vermeer. We are Vermeer Strong!
Doug Hundt resident, Industrial Solutions