Rebuilding is underway at Free State Growers more than two months after a devastating tornado ripped through Leavenworth County.
The EF-4 tornado wiped out most of the greenhouse business on May 28. Owner Mark Illausky estimates they lost almost 10 acres of greenhouse space.
“We probably lost about 90% of our greenhouse structures,” Illausky said. “We still have a little under an acre that withstood the tornado, and what plants we were able to salvage we were able to get them into that greenhouse structure.”
The company managed to salvage some of the inventory.
They’ve been working out of the tight space and a few temporary greenhouses since, but Illausky said time is no longer on their side.
“We want to get built as fast as we can because we actually do have a lot of shipping in the fall with garden mums and, of course, it leads into poinsettia season for us,” Illausky explained.