Louisville, KY. (WDRB News)--It could have been a crushing blow to a Louisville business. But it's proving more powerful that the tornado that hit it.
More than a month after the June 22 tornado, you can still see just how extensive the damage is to Equipment Depot, just down the street from Papa John's Cardinal Stadium on Floyd Street. But despite the surprise storm, the company was back in business almost immediately.
The F-1 tornado first struck the barns at Churchill Downs, lifted off the ground for a short time, then touched down again causing extensive damage to Equipment Depot, which sells and services forklift and aerial lift equipment.
"We've got contractors coming in and getting their bids together," says Equipment Depot operations manager Jeremy Smith.
The damage, which includes the roof that has disappeared, could have brought the business to a standstill. But instead the company mobilized its workers sending some to Evansville where the company has another location.
"The workers were able to take phone calls in Evansville," says Smith, "write all the orders down and relay the information back to the people here in Louisville."
Portable trailers have been set up at the site for office workers and part of the building that still has its roof is now the site where the company continues to perform its usual work. Larger repair jobs are sent to its Lexington location.
"We are up and running," says Smith, "we haven't missed a beat, we are doing things different internally, but the support and service to our customers is still there."
The company will make the most out of a bad situation and plans to make the property more visually appealing. Plans are to build a glass showroom on the corner location.
Smith adds that while its been a challenge to keep the business going, they are thankful the tornado struck after business hours during the evening. Says Smith, "Everyone was out of the building and safe, so that is the best part of this situation, no one got hurt."
The company hopes the rebuilding process can begin this week and be completed within five to eight months.