Tornado Rips Path of “Complete Devastation” Through Mega Carrier’s Main Campus
Nashville, TN – A Nashville-based mega carrier has initiated a “disaster recovery plan” after it was not spared the wrath of one of the multiple EF3 tornados that blew through the area early Tuesday.
As the sun rose Tuesday morning, leaders at Western Express Inc. were just beginning to assess the damage.
At the same time, executives sought to calm employees as the company’s phones were ringing off of the hook from worried customers, vendors and colleagues.
The deadly tornadoes spread over four counties and claimed the lives of at least 25 people, according to Tennessee Governor Bill Lee.
Thankfully, no one associated with Western Express was among the dead.
Paul Wieck, Chairman and CEO of Western Express, swiftly issued a statement addressing the myriad of concerns.
“We are blessed that none of our people were injured,” Wieck said. “Some buildings may be down, but Western Express is not. A disaster recovery plan is in process, and to that end, critical systems are generally up and running, and we don’t expect significant disruption for drivers or customers.”
The trucking company did however, sustain heavy damages to its main campus located at 7135 Centennial Place.
Photos and videos of the destruction quickly began circulating on social media.
Windows of employees’ vehicles were shattered and blown out, and debris resulting from the up to 160 mph winds littered the parking lot.
The extent of damage to employees’ belongings as well as company-owned semi-trucks parked at the facility is unclear.
However, later in the day, Wieck led a video tour (watch it below) of what he called the “complete devastation” of three buildings.
The shop and truck maintenance facility took a direct hit, as did two office buildings, including one that Wieck said had only been open for the last 6 months.
Despite the physical damage, he went on to explain, “Backup servers are operational, trucks are on the road delivering freight, our fuel network is functioning properly, our payroll is taken care of, and we have personnel at our outlying locations managing planning and dispatch.”
MORE ON TENNESSEE TORNADO RELIEF
On Wednesday, Western Express once again provided an update on its operations and cleanup efforts.
The carrier says it is currently 95% functional and will be 100% by Thursday.
The company is seating drivers as recruiting and orientation activities continue without disruption.
“Existing buildings and resources will be available” to conduct truck maintenance duties.
Additionally, a rebuilding plan has already been set in motion.
The company says the new buildings will be “even better than before!”
Still, the last two days has been a challenge, not just for Western Express, but the entire community, Wieck says.
“My heart goes out to those affected in greater Nashville. We are determined to serve our customers, our team, and the families who were affected.”
WATCH a tour of the damage below.