BOWLING GREEN, KY—General Motors restarted operations at its assembly plant here on Dec. 20, nine days after a violent tornado swept through Kentucky and damaged the facility. GM had idled the plant, where it builds the Corvette sports car, after the tornado. The company says the tornado caused a fire on the roof and damage to the exterior, including damage to an employee entrance.

About 20 to 30 people were inside at the time of the tornado and took shelter in the basement when emergency alarms sounded. No one was injured.

GM laid off all 1,200 of those on the assembly line for the entire week as it idled the plant to assess damage and make repairs. About 90 skilled trades workers remained on the job.

“A safe restart of Bowling Green Assembly is our top priority, along with ensuring production of the highest quality vehicles for our customers,” says GM spokesman David Barnas. “Thanks to the incredible efforts of our employees at the plant—coupled with the additional assistance from other GM manufacturing locations—restoration efforts of the facility have quickly progressed this [past] week.”