November 2013

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Page 33 of 59

Margins The charitable foundation of Vermeer Equipment Company sent volunteers and mini-loaders to help with tree-planting. Allied with Kubota Tractor Company, the Iowa foundation also supplied a track loader for tree hole-digging. Through a Grinder and Back Again – Joplin, Mo., Two Years Later Equipment companies, city officials talk about the tornado that ravaged their town – and their refusal to stay down. BY GILES LAMBERTSON An EF5 tornado shredded the heart of Joplin, Mo., in May 2011, and two years later the pieces are being stitched together again. Notwithstanding the loss of 161 lives, thousands of homes, and millions of irreplaceable articles of memorabilia, the community seems stronger for the experience. "You kind of hate to say it, but the tornado was 32 | www.cedmag.com | Construction Equipment Distribution | November 2013 a blessing in some ways," says Mike Quick, regional service manager for power systems at Fabick Caterpillar in Joplin. For Quick to acknowledge the ultimately positive economic impact of the tornado is significant: He and his wife barely survived the storm in their home. (See sidebar on page 35.) The mile-and-a-half-wide tornado was not unique; at

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