24 Million Pounds of Pork Lost At JBS Marshalltown Plant After Tornado

Damage JBS' Marshalltown distribution center from severe weather and a tornado on Thursday, July 19, 2018 will force the company to dispose of more than 24 million pounds of pork. ( PORK )

Iowa residents and businesses are still cleaning up after tornados last week left severe damage in it’s wake. Farmers were especially concerned with damage to JBS’s Marshalltown facility that forced the plant to close for three days and Vermeer’s hay equipment facility.

The Marshalltown facility reopened Monday with a revised schedule, as seen on their Facebook page. Tuesday’s shifts would also have changes.

As the cleanup continues, damage estimates are also rolling in. At the JBS facility, more than 24 million pounds of pork will have to be disposed of, after damage to the distribution center and processing line. The Marshalltown Times Republican says winds tore out insulation and panels on the east and west sides of the building. The freezer in the distribution center was damaged. Trailers and rail cars were also flipped in the storm.

Despite the challenges, Iowa Pork Producer Association president Pat McGonegle told KCRG-TV that JBS worked quickly with local producers on rerouting pig shipments to other processing plants. (Source: KCRG-TV)

Local leaders say initially were some concern if the city landfill would be able to handle that much waste product, as well as all the other cleanup trash. This large volume of pork would equal about half of the landfill’s yearly intake.

Meanwhile, JBS employees, Iowa Select Farms and Iowa Pork Producers Association teamed up to offer free hot meals for the Marshalltown community at the town’s YMCA parking lot. Grilled hot dogs and burgers helped re-fuel local residents, some who said they haven’t had meat since the storm, reports KWWL.

Click for additional video: KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, ClosingsJBS, Iowa Select Farms and Iowa Pork Provided a hot meal to the community of Marshalltown on Sunday, after a tornado ripped through the historic part of the town earlier in the week. To read more, visit our blog! https://t.co/QHFM7Edbfi #MarshalltownStrong pic.twitter.com/FfflWi8zRC

Alliant Energy says it hopes to have power in Marshalltown fully restored by mid-week. About 4,000 customers remained without power as of Saturday.

The JBS Marshalltown pork processing facility, distribution center and warehouse provides fresh, quality pork products to domestic and international customers under the brands Swift Premium All Natural Pork, Swift Premium Fresh Pork and La Herencia. The plant employs more than 2,200 people and partners with more than 500 pig farmers.