Almost every car on the lot was severely damaged or completely destroyed.
Nightmare became reality for the Riley Auto Group's Chevrolet, Buick, and GMC dealership in Jefferson City Missouri this Wednesday when a tornado tore through the city of around 49,000 inhabitants and left huge amounts of damage in its wake. The Riley Auto Group dealership was hit particularly hard by the storm, taking a "direct hit" from the tornado according to what a dealership spokesperson told Automotive News via Facebook.
"Our employees are safe," said spokesperson via social media. When asked about what it would take to get the dealership up and running again, the spokesperson replied, "we are in the beginning phases [of assessing the damage]."
The tornado hit the city at around 11:45 pm on Wednesday, May 22nd and according to Fox 2 Now, the twister was concentrated over a three-square-mile area over the southern part of Jefferson City. The tornado was rated an EF-3 on the Fujita rating scale, meaning it had wind speeds between 136 mph and 165 mph.
Turns out that was more than enough to completely level the dealership and damage most of its inventory. We have no idea how extensive the damage is, but the dealership is shut until further notice. It took to Facebook the morning after the storm, saying, "Riley Chevrolet and Riley Toyota will be closed to all public and employees until further notice. Our prayers are with Jefferson City and surrounding towns through this time."
A video posted to the dealership's Facebook page by a radio host of the Missouri-area station, 93.9 The Eagle, shows damage to what appears to be hundreds of vehicles from both Riley Chevrolet and neighboring Riley Toyota. The host estimated that almost every car on the lot had suffered damage. Luckier parts of the lot held cars that seem to have gotten away with only dents and broken windows while other areas of the lot had turned to vehicular graveyards complete with crushed cars, trucks, and SUVs piled on top of one another. If you live in the area, be advised that more extreme weather is in the forecast throughout the week. Godspeed.