The Tornado Tore Down, but CLAAS Rebuilds


Tornadoes are one of nature’s most violent offenders, and anytime one touches down, there are usually property rebuilding decisions to be made soon after. Do you walk away, or do you rally together and rebuild?

Citizens of Wayne, Neb., chose the latter after October 2013, when an F4 tornado shredded part of the community. Here is some footage captured by storm chaser Matt Phelps.

"The primary damage is mostly in the industrial area of Wayne," mayor Ken Chamberlain told CNN afterward. "Approximately 10-12 houses were destroyed but everyone is accounted for and safe."

Among the casualties was the CLAAS of America Nebraska Harvest Center. The damage was extensive, but the community rallied.

“Within days, we moved our service and parts operation to a farm just outside of town to support our growers who were still in the field,” says John Buse, executive vice president of retail at CLAAS.

Nearly two years later, the Nebraska Harvest Center is once again open for business – and bigger and better than ever, according to Paul Westbrook, complex manager.

“We not only rebuilt, we expanded,” he says. “The new dealership has an additional 4,800 square feet of shop space, a better space for spare parts, and a conference room above our offices. We have the structure in place to serve our current customers as well as those who are just now getting to know our dealership.”

“It’s been a long time coming,” Buse adds. “Moving into our new, larger facility will allow us to continue to grow our business and provide the after-sales support our customers in this area deserve. We are happy to have rebuilt our facility in the great community of Wayne.”

The facility will carry all CLAAS equipment brands, including Lexion combines, Jaguar forage harvesters, Xerion tractors and CLAAS balers and hay tools. The Lexion combines are built just down the road in Omaha, Neb.

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