Tornado rips through Vermeer factory in Iowa

Dealers and customers attending a conference at Vermeer Corp HQ and manufacturing plant in Pella, Iowa, had to race to shelter when a tornado ripped through the North American town last Thursday.

by Steven Vale

23 Jul 2018

A statement on the company’s website states that all 400 dealers and customers were accounted for and initial media reports suggest that no-one was seriously injured. The seven people taken to hospital with minor injuries have all been released.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that the tornado ripped up buildings, flipped over cars and left behind it a trail of wreckage. Several buildings on the site suffered significant damage, and some will need a structural assessment to determine the full extent of the damage.

The campus also houses the North American headquarters of Lely, where some 50 staff work. We understand that they all made it out safely with no injuries.

All Vermeer operations, both office and production, have been closed at the facility since and it is not yet known how many of the company’s 2,700 staff will be able to return to work this week.