Local news reports indicate that the facility suffered "considerable damage," particularly to the roof. And, according to the Daily Journal, at least 300 employees were working at the time the storm hit and plant officials worked to get everyone to safety.
Tupelo city officials were not immediately available for comment regarding ongoing restorative efforts at the tire plant and across the city. The Daily Journal also indicates that commercial buildings were mostly impacted.
In a tweet issued late April 1, U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker noted that he was assessing the damage caused by the storms and had met with city and county officials at the Cooper Tire facility.
Goodyear's Cooper Tire Tupelo plant, opened in 1984, employs a total of 1,400, according to the latest Rubber News' Global Tire data. It is rated at a capacity of around 37,000 passenger car tires per day.
At least seven states were impacted by the severe storms and subsequent tornadoes that swept across the country during the first weekend of April. The storms, according to the National Weather Service warning issued for Northern Mississippi April 1, were capable of producing EF-2 and stronger tornadoes.
The New York Times reports that communities in at least seven states suffered damage from tornadic winds. At least 32 people were killed, with fatalities reported in Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Mississippi and Tennessee.
These storms came one week after seven tornadoes—including one EF-4 and two EF-3 funnels—touched down in Mississippi.