Tulsa Business Damaged In 2017 Tornado Finally Returns Home

Monday, July 2nd 2018, 10:01 pm
By: Justin Shrair

It’s been nearly a year since a tornado ripped through midtown Tulsa, damaging a number of businesses in its path.

Since then, many have reopened, but others are just now getting back on their feet.

More than 140 homes and businesses were affected by that tornado.

For the employees at Ferguson, stepping back into a place that was torn up was about nine months in the making.

“This has been my home for 20 years,” said commercial sales manager Charles Tracy.

Tracy and the rest of the staff at Ferguson are excited to be back at home.

“It’s just nice to be back in.  We’ve got brand new digs,” said Tracy.  “It was all blown everywhere, but it’s good to be back.  It’s good to have our people back.”

Tracy remembers the phone calls, the pictures, and the destruction after the tornado went through.

“Everything was damaged with water.  The roof was entirely torn off of the building.  We had roughly the back quarter of the building was completely demolished,” he said.

He says the company lost more than one million dollars worth of inventory that was blown away, destroyed, or littered with water and debris.

“Just getting in the building the first day was next to impossible.  Just everything was thrown everywhere, just the metal all wrapped around,” exclaimed Tracy.

He says he and other managers met and told everyone to show up the day after the tornado hit.  They worked out of another location while repairs were being made.

“We wanted to make sure that everybody was together and make sure everybody knew they had jobs, and there wasn’t anything that was going to change,” he said.

And nothing did, except for the building.

“We’re basically getting a chance to reinvent ourselves again,” said Tracy.  “We’re going to hit the ground running.”

Interesting fact about the building – although no employees were in the building when the tornado hit, the room designated as a tornado shelter remained 100 percent intact through the storm.