Nearly a year ago, a tornado tore through Marysville, destroying several homes and businesses.
It was a Monday, the night of Memorial Day last year. That is when an EF 2 tornado hit just west of Marysville. “The original thought that night was almost disbelief. You know this can’t be happening,” said Mike Kongs, an owner of Oregon Trail Equipment.
The Oregon Trail was destroyed nearly a year ago. Kongs and his business partner were surveying the damage the morning after an EF 2 tornado ripped through Marshall County. “The showroom that we’re standing in now, had no roof on it. The roof was completely lifted off and peeled to the southeast,” said Kongs.
Today, the dealership is nearly back to normal. The dealership had to split all of its departments into several buildings across the county, in order to stay in business while re-building.
“We’re still working our way back, obviously we are back in one building again, which is good, I mean it gets us back where we need to be, but we still have a lot of holes to fill, should I say. [...] We’re struggling, but we’re still able to serve our customers,” said Kongs.
The repairs are not finished, the shelves still are not completely stocked. Kongs says the dealership was insured. He did not want to say how much has been spent to rebuild, but says it is in the millions.
Most of the things left to fix up are superficial. But they know it could have been worse.
“The unfortunate thing about it was we actually lost one business, the trust business never rebuilt, and that’s certainly a loss to the county,” said Rick Shain, Marysville City Administrator.
The City of Marysville was barely missed.
“If it had been a mile, two miles further east it would have been disastrous for us,” said Shain.
No one was killed in the storm, but city officials warn that everyone should be aware.
“If the tornado sirens sound, people need to take cover,” said Shain.
The Oregon Trail moved back into one building just three months ago in February.
The City of Marysville says they are constantly running disaster drills with the county to be prepared in case a tornado were to hit the town.
Oregon Trail will host a special Open House next Tuesday, from 1-4, one year after the tornado. To say thank you to the community for all of their patience and help.