As you may have heard by now, the General Motors Bowling Green Assembly plant got hit by an EF3 tornado on December 11th, 2021. The plant, which exclusively produces the C8 Corvette, suffered significant damage, and several vehicles had to be scrapped from the damage done. In addition, one of the buildings caught fire, and the NCM Motorsports Park across the street also suffered damage. Fortunately, no one at the plant was injured, but it would take some work to get things up and running once again.
Bowling Green Assembly Plant Tornado Aftermath
The tornado struck when around two dozen workers were on the clock for the midnight shift. At 1:07 a.m on December 11th, Accuweather sent out a tornado warning to the employees, and employees were told to take shelter. The tornado hit the west side of the assembly plant at 1:30 a.m; all employees were safely sheltered. At 1:35 AM local time, a fire was detected as the tornado lifted one of the facility’s air houses and crashed into a natural gas line. Aside from the fire, the plant had gotten flooded, which caused significant damage to several vehicles.
After making a few phone calls, engineers and contractors were on the scene the next day to assess the damage and start repairing the plant. The plant needed 23,000 square feet of roof decking, 700 feet of wall paneling, 54 skylight coverings, 300 feet of replacement bus cabling, and other items vital for conveyor operation.
Rain was in the forecast for December 16th, which meant that if the roof wasn’t repaired by that time, further water damage could occur. Luckily, the contractors managed to fix it before it rained despite original estimates stating that the plant wouldn’t be repaired for three weeks. According to the plant’s assistant manager, Nora Roper, employees were able to return to the site just ten days after the Kentucky tornado struck. By December 22nd, the first good car fit for delivery was produced off the line, and the Bowling Green Assembly plant resumed full production.