LEBANON, Ind. — Less than a month after dozens of tornados
ripped through Indiana, causing millions of dollars in damage to homes and
businesses, Case New Holland was able to reopen the doors of its CNH North
American Master Depot, which was struck by a tornado on Nov. 17.
Keith Shadrick, senior director of distribution services at
CNH, noted that the tornado that hit the building in Lebanon probably caused $30
million to $40 million in damage.
While the destruction the storm caused was major and
affected one-third of the building, including a massive hole in the steel roof,
he stressed that CNH is fortunate that the master depot is so large.
After cleaning up and removing debris, CNH was able to wall
off the area where the tornado struck from the rest of the building, as well as
restore electric, gas and other utilities to the entire facility.
With two-thirds of the building still functional, Shadrick
said that CNH on Dec. 5 was able to recall 100 percent of its employees, who
were fully compensated during the time they couldn’t work due to the storm
damage. Operations at the depot continued as normal.
“Everyone (those in the community) relies on us. We can take
a punch and bounce back, and not only bounce back but come back stronger,” the
senior director said.
Shadrick added that CNH is also lucky that no one was hurt
during the tornado. “Safety is our No. 1 priority, and emergency evacuations are
pre-planned. We have emergency tornado shelters, and we make employees rehearse
storm drills,” he said, adding that the day of the storm little warning was
given before tornadoes hit the area.
Three CNH supervisors have been honored as heroes for taking
action and getting the dozens of employees who were working that day to safety,
just seconds before the tornado struck the building.
All supervisors at CNH are trained on how to respond during
a crisis and how to best help their workers, but this time was different because
there was no siren, or advanced warning, Shadrick said. One of the supervisors
received a text from his cell phone provider alerting of bad whether mere
seconds before the storm slammed into the building.
The warning gave him just enough time to alert the other two
supervisors, who put the company’s emergency tornado drill into action.
Supervisors were Ramdev Gowda Anegannhalli Nagesh, Chris
Parker and Gary Pedigo.