Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

November 20, 2013

Picking up the pieces

As many as 30 businesses may have been destroyed by tornado

As her business on East Lincoln Road was about to crumble, all Solstice Art Gallery owner Marci May could think about was how she could save the lives of the nine children and seven adults in the building.

May, who has owned the business for six years, was hosting a birthday party for a young girl as a tornado swept through Kokomo Sunday, leveling the gallery as she escorted members of the party into the bathroom to safety.

A steel beam prevented bricks from caving in on the bathroom, leaving May and the others safe when her business fell to the ground.

“We were having a birthday party for a little girl,” May said. “We actually ended up in the bathroom with about nine kids and seven adults and just barely made it. They had just gone to shut the door and as soon as they did that, the whole back wall came tumbling in and the roof came peeling off.”

May and other business owners in the Fairway Plaza, and throughout Kokomo, are trying to move forward following Sunday’s tornado that left as many as 30 businesses destroyed and many more with structural damage.

May’s father, Dan, and her husband, Eric, work at May Law Office next door. They have been organizing a plan for a new temporary location on South Reed Road. Marci May said she plans to be moved into the new location at 2906 S. Reed Road by the weekend to host a Christmas party.

“Our Christmas calendar is full of private parties coming up,” she said. “That’s why we needed to find a place fast so that we could hold those parties.

“We’re just thankful that all of those kids are OK,” she added. “It wasn’t our home, it’s just our business. We can find a new location.”

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