Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

November 20, 2013

Picking up the pieces

As many as 30 businesses may have been destroyed by tornado

(Continued)

BMO Harris Bank on Washington Street was reduced to rubble following the tornado. Across the street, Sun City Tan is awaiting assessment on damage done to its building before deciding whether to continue operation.

Sun City Tan manager Pam Bennett said until the business receives consultation from an engineer on the extent of the damage, business is at a standstill.

“It’s going to be a while before we can reopen,” she said. “We have no roof and the front of the building has been blown out. Part of (BMO Harris) Bank is in our building.”

Employees at Sun City Tan, which has been in business for nine years, have swept out debris from the parking lot in the meantime, but cleanup has been reduced to a “minimal standstill” until the damage can be assessed, Bennett said.

Liberty Financial Group on East Hoffer Street already has relocated temporarily after the tornado took the roof off its structure and blew out the doors and windows of the building.

Co-owner Craig Dunn said the business has relocated to the old Elks Lodge at 104 W. Sycamore St., where they already are taking calls from clients.

Dunn said the roof might be fixed on the building today, and he hopes to return to his former location on Nov. 27.

“This is a case where we’re going full speed ahead,” he said. “The first thing we can do is take care of our clients and function as normally as possible. We’re starting to see clients down here (on Sycamore Street), which is not a cushy environment. It’s functional, not comfortable.”

Off U.S. 31, Erik’s Chevrolet suffered extensive damage, including a significant amount of glass blown out of the showroom window and debris.

Over the past two days, employees have been working to get everything cleaned up, with power expected to return today. Scott Perkins of Perkins Contracting arrived Sunday to provide Erik’s with structural assistance.

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