As the tornado made its way across Adairsville, businesses on the south side of Ga. Highway 140 found themselves in the storm’s path. Crossing Highway 140, the tornado delivered a destructive blow to the Daiki manufacturing facility directly next door to NorthSide Bank.
While one Daiki employee suffered minor injuries and the building was damaged beyond repair, NorthSide Bank employees were unscathed as they went to the aid of Daiki workers, but the building received damage to the roof, which in turn led to extensive water damage inside.
“The damage was primarily roof damage,” said NorthSide President New Markets and Community Outreach Mark Swanson. “The tornado ripped off basically about half of the edge of the roof, which then opened up the interior to rain — it punched a bunch of holes in the roof. So basically, water damage is what we faced throughout the building. Basically, they had to rip out all the Sheetrock in the building, because it was wet, ripped out all the floor coverings and basically had to rebuild the interior.”
NorthSide Bank employees went to work on relocating necessary elements the next day and successfully completed the move into a temporary location in time to open for business in three days. Since the tornado, NorthSide’s Adairsville operations have been primarily housed in the former home of Crescent Bank at 21 Eagle Parkway in Adairsville.
“The tornado happened on Jan. 30 about noonish and once we got all the Daiki folks out we sent our folks home and we came back and hit it hard the next morning,” Swanson said. “From that Thursday morning through the weekend, we opened for regular business that Monday.
“It went exceptionally well; I credit a lot of folks. We have a great team here at the bank. Lydia Adcock, Melissa Whistler, Kharis Bramlett coordinated that effort and I also credit Nivek. They were absolutely amazing. They came and packed the entire bank in a day, and if it wasn’t for their expertise we would not have been able to make the move successfully.”
Swanson noted that relocating and backing up computer systems proved to be the most challenging aspect of the move, but that actions taken last year aided the process. Last year, the bank prepared for any such disaster disabling the home office by ensuring that Cartersville and Calhoun branches operated independently from the Adairsville operating system.
During their time at the temporary location, NorthSide staff and customers dealt with inconveniences, including size limitations and no ATM. Although employees shared offices and administration had to relocate to a separate office building, business continued much as it did before.
“We have been blessed all the way around, from being spared our building — because our building could have been completely demolished and we’d have been out of here about a year — to our people being safe, the move going exceptionally well and our customers have been so good,” Swanson said. “We’ve had so many folks bring us gifts and just glad to see that we’re OK and back up and running. We’ve actually grown our business in the midst of all this. Customers have really responded well.
“I like to say that we’ve made it through a financial storm, with the last three or four years being the most difficult in many of our lives because of the economy, and now we’ve made it through a tornado. So this bank is used to battling its way through difficulty.”
While the move to their temporary location was accomplished in three days, NorthSide employees found it was more difficult getting back into their renovated building. NorthSide Bank of Adairsville City Executive Lydia Adcock said the return trip has taken a lot planning and strategy, but will certainly be worth the effort.
“We are thankful that we have had the ability to continue to serve our community in this temporary facility since the tornado, but we are all very excited to be going back home,” Adcock said in a press release.
NorthSide Bank closed their temporary home at 3 p.m. Friday to move the final, essential pieces. The bank’s Adairsville branch will remain closed today and will reopen on Monday at 8:30 a.m. at the 1774 Adairsville Highway location. For more information, visit www.northsidebankga.com or call 770-773-7300.
“We’re very grateful and very blessed,” Swanson said. “Through these difficulties we have learned a lot about ourselves and we’ve learned what we can accomplish as a team.
“So we’ve got a lot to be thankful and grateful for.”