The CMP headquarters plant, located 10 miles south of downtown Oklahoma City, was devastated by a tornado that ripped across Oklahoma on May 8. In the photo at right, John Conrad, publisher ofThe News(second from right), stands inside the bare remains of the building with (left to right) Ben Harrison, CMP vice president and general manager; Jon Croy, CMP president; and Sherri Reeves, CMP director of marketing.

Amazingly, nine individuals managed to survive the tornado by taking refuge inside the cinderblock walls of the safe room. Croy said the company would “rebuild the plant and be better than ever.” Harrison praised the company’s employees for their efforts salvaging inventory and equipment from the plant after the tornado hit.

“We had to force employees to leave the site in the days after the tornado hit because there were some folks who refused to go home to get some sleep,” said Harrison. CMP was shipping orders again on May 15 out of a makeshift temporary office — a tent on the plant grounds — just one week after the tornado hit. Croy said CMP should be in a newly built site in eight to nine months.

Publication date: 07/28/2003