Severe Thunderstorm Watch

Osceola Company Inspired By Pella Twisters, Installs Tornado Shelters

OSCEOLA, Iowa- The tornadoes  that struck Pella on July 19th had an impact on a company in Osceola.

SIMCO General Manager Darren Swolley saw the coverage on TV, and got to thinking about his company, which builds well drilling equipment.

“If that were ever to happen here, we really didn’t have anything we could do, like they had,” said Swolley. “I started researching storm shelters to find something we could put in.”

He located a company in Joplin MO, which sold and installed three shelters, each weighing 26,000 pounds. The cost was around $15,000, though SIMCO did some of the dirt work on the project.

Each shelter is rated to withstand an EF-5 tornado, and holds 18 people, SIMCO has 22 employees. SIMCO wanted to have extra room for future growth, or for visitors to the plant.

“I hope it's something that we're never going to have to use but it does make us feel a whole lot better that we have them,” said Swolley.

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