Shiawassee Township business begins rebuilding process after tornado damage


When a tornado touched down in Shiawassee County earlier this month, it left behind a trail of damage. 

For Bryan Marks, that included his business- Great Lakes Fabrication and Machining in Vernon Township.

“You work a lot of years to put something like this together and you’ve got employees and their families and- and the immediate thought is what are we gonna do for our people that work for us. so it was devastating,” Marks said. 
The business was nearly flattened, but one thing stood tall.

“The one thing that was left standing was that flagpole,” Marks said.

The company has made the decision to rebuild, and today they raised a flag that previously flew above the Capitol, to signify the beginning of the process.  

“To me and my employees, it was one of the most important things to get that flag back up in the air. Not only for ourselves but to let everybody know that we’re here to stay,” Marks said.

Nobody was inside when the storm passed through, but one employee left just twenty minutes before the tornado hit. Rodger Hathaway who has worked for Great Lakes Fabrication and Machining for thirty-seven years had joined Marks in the flag raising. 

“This has been a big part of my life,” Hathaway said, and the devastation he first felt has turned to optimism now that the flag is flying high again. For him, the greatest part is the outpouring of support.  

“The community has all come together and that’s what makes america great,” Hathaway said. 

Marks plans to begin rebuilding as soon as possible and employment will continue through the process. 

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