“There was no time to have a reaction; we had to get everybody safe,” Linville said.
According to an impact statement the city prepared for the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, over 100 commercial/business structures reported being impacted by the tornado.
About 57 of those structures fell into the medium/heavy damage category, and the city estimated 47 residential homes were destroyed, with 139 homes suffering major damage and 103 with minor damage. Another 572 homes were affected.
Four businesses along Hoffer moved into temporary rented quarters at Inventrek Technology Park, including Hardie Group realty, Realtors Association of Central Indiana, CRM Properties and Heights Finance, according to Inventrek manager Jan Hendrix.
Other businesses are trying to recover while staying open.
City officials said Eriks Chevrolet, at the corner of Ind. 931 and Hoffer Street, sustained heavy damage to nearly all 200 vehicles in the dealership’s inventory.
And at General Motors Components Holdings, the buildings sustained only slight damage, but the company was forced to cancel a third shift the evening of Nov. 17, causing hundreds of hours of lost productivity. All of that information was taken into account by state officials, and much of it made its way directly into the state’s formal request for federal disaster assistance.
Despite the setbacks, businesses are making plans to rebuild. And it’s likely the rebuilt tornado alley will look far different from what was there prior to the storm.
Volikas-Linville said one of the toughest things will be waiting for the restaurant to reopen. Her mother still worked there every day prior to the tornado. Volikas-Linville said she works there six days a week, and hasn’t had a vacation in years. The restaurant is always closed Sunday.
“I was born and raised in Kokomo, and I went to Kokomo High School,” she said. “This is home. I love Kokomo. Our friends and family are here.”
Scott Smith, business editor, can be reached at 765-454-8569, scott.smith@kokomotribune, or on Twitter, @JasonSSmith1.