Branch manager Eddie Sarten and his employees at Great Dane’s Dallas facility at 4115 Port Blvd. were still cleaning up Monday in the wake of the devastating tornadoes that struck the area last Tuesday.
“We had quite a bit of damage,” Sarten said Monday. “Right now, we’re out here cleaning up. We went back to work the following morning. We had power, so we’re just doing it one day at a time, cleaning it up.”
Approximately 12 of the 70 trailers on the lot were damaged, including eight that were totaled. A few of them flipped over and came to rest just short of the building, which Sarten said “came through with no problem.”
After hitting the Great Dane facility, the tornado—one of an estimated 18 that hit the area that day—moved north across the street and hit Schneider National, causing the damage that produced the dramatic footage of trailers flying hundreds of feet in the air.
Sarten reported no injuries. He said there were 30 employees at the facility when the tornado struck.
“We just huddled up in the men’s restroom,” he said. “That’s called our ‘safehouse,’ and that’s where we all went. “It was pretty scary. It came right up on us.”
Great Dane’s other Dallas-area facility was not damaged, according to Sarten.
According to MSNBC, Schneider said there were 254 tractors and 204 trailers at the Port Blvd facility when the tornado was hit. Sixty-five people work at the facility, with up to 300 drivers per day coming and going, the company told MSNBC.
Schneider officials said all workers were back at work Wednesday morning cleaning up. In all, approximately 100 pieces of equipment were damaged, the company said.
“We are thankful and relieved to report that all Schneider associates who were at our Dallas Operating Center when Tuesday’s tornado touched down are safe, accounted for and are back at work today. We are proud of our associates’ response to yesterday’s tornado; they received alerts of the storm and followed protocol by taking shelter,” the statement read. “Recovery efforts began Tuesday night and clean-up is proceeding quickly. Our Dallas associates are working hard to restore the facility to working order and to get back to doing what they do best: hauling freight for our customers.
“The storm’s impact to freight, our customers and our operations overall appear to be minimal – a remarkable outcome in light of the force of the storm. Schneider National is grateful for the support and concern for our associates who work in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Equipment and products can be replaced, people cannot.”
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