WATER VALLEY – A lot of work went into getting Caterpillar back into production after the Feb 5 tornado knocked out the company’s Oxford plant. Thanks to the help of their Water Valley neighbors, they were back in business within just a few days.
One of the first to respond was Casey Washington of Valley Tools who invited Caterpillar officials to come to Water Valley and look at the former Steele Manufacturing building that he had recently purchased.
Caterpillar liked the building and has spent the next weekend moving in, according to Washington who said his goal was to help a neighbor and a customer who was in need.
Last Thursday a group of Yalobusha and Lafayette officials were given a tour of the operation in the Water Valley industrial park.
Kevin Kempa, plant manager who conducted the tour, said a lot of people were involved in putting Caterpillar back to work. Among those were economic development heads Max Hipp of Oxford and Bob Tyler of Water Valley as well as city and county officials and even Water Valley-area utilities.