Eamon McCourt, vice president of McCourt & Sons Equipment, said in an interview with KVUE, "I think it was a 30-foot tall building. Beams, metal, tin and then right behind that, the other side of this equipment, was our admin office that got blown away."
The store's surveillance video showed the damage was done in just a few minutes.
The National Weather Service concluded winds peaked at 120 mph, and was one of three that touched down that day. The other two were in Tomball and Eagle Lake, both categorized as EF-0, with winds of 65 to 85 mph.
No one at McCourt & Sons was injured, as the NWS warnings gave ample time for everyone to take shelter. The staff then spent the next week clearing debris and keeping the shop open for business, even as clean up began.
McCourt & Sons experienced only a temporary hold up while the tornado wreaked its havoc. Its sales, rentals, parts and service departments were all fully functional and unaffected by the storm.
The accounting building and wash bay were the only building casualties of the tornado, and by mid-week, a new, temporary accounting building was brought in and plans for the new wash bay are in progress. According to the company, all equipment is still receiving the same amount of TLC as before.
About 15 pieces of equipment were damaged by the tornado. These included telestackers, backhoes and loaders — most with medium to minor damage. Five company vehicles were lost.
The following was posted on McCourt and Son's Facebook page on May 6:
On Friday morning, May 3rd at approximately 9:08am CST, a confirmed EF-2 tornado touched down at our headquarters in La Grange, Texas.
Thankfully our entire staff took shelter immediately resulting in no injuries.
We are extremely thankful the local authorities were able to provide adequate advance warning, quickly assessed damage and ensured all our staff was safe.
As the debris is just about fully cleared, it is important to note we are still operating as usual. If you need assistance with current or future business, please reach out to your designated McCourt & Sons Equipment, Inc. contact, call our main line at 888-832-9252 or connect with us here.
We greatly appreciate all of the thoughts and prayers as we worked diligently over the weekend to resume business today.
Our deepest gratitude to Texas Disposal Systems, Recon Home Services, Ranger Excavating, LP, Fayette County Sheriff's Department, Rons Auto Repair, Ray's Crane Service & Fayette Electric Cooperative for helping us recover so quickly and efficiently.
The flags are flying and we are open for business.
Let's get back to work!
The McCourt & Sons Team
"We were very fortunate and blessed to have had no injuries or loss of life," said Paul McCourt, president of McCourt & Sons Equipment. "That is the most important part of all this. The safety of our employees is number one. Returning to business as usual was next. We have a great team who bonded together and made it happen quickly."
Only three days prior to the tornado striking the main office, the concrete slab was poured for the new McCourt & Sons headquarters. The company looks forward to hosting customers and partners in its new building in late 2019.
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