Business Owners Brave Storm, Begin Clean Up

Wednesday, February 11th 2009, 6:00 pm
By: News 9

By Amy Lester, NEWS 9

EDMOND, Oklahoma - Businesses near Waterloo Road and Broadway suffered a lot of damage from Tuesday's storm. Some business owners braved the storm inside their shops and lived to tell about it.

Twisted metal, insulation, cars covered in debris, Edmond business owners got their first real look at the damage only Mother Nature can cause Wednesday.

"Loss, loss for words, I can't even explain it. It's reality now, but I'm just still in shock," Lil Bit a Sine Auto Detail owner Darrell Banks said.

Darrel Banks left his car detail shop about a minute before the tornado touched down.

"It got quiet just like, everybody how they say it's quiet, and it sounded like a train and we were leaving then and we could see debris flying across the street," Banks said.

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  • While the car detail shop owner hurried out, another business owner who shares the building and runs a hail repair store was at home.

    "Darrel calls me, I said ‘It's great, we've got plenty of business. It's hailing.' he's like, ‘You don't have a shop to do hail damage repair in.' and I said ‘No, you're lying,'" Four Seasons Paintless Dent Removal owner Michael Jerry said.

    Banks wasn't lying. Both businesses were completely demolished by the storm.

    "Pick up the pieces and move on, we don't have time to sit and cry about it. We've got to get to work," Jerry said.

    The cleanup has begun for them and another business owner, Mike Jones, who rode out the storm in his cabinet business.

    "I heard the wind blowing real hard and I heard a bunch of ruckus, and I opened the door up and the tornado was right there," Custom Design Cabinets owner Mike Jones said. "This one is closest to the wall so I figured it would be the best one, so I crawled right underneath that desk and curled up."

    While Jones hid, half of his shop blew away.

    "I'm thinking that I hope God saves me because I didn't want to die," Jones said.

    As he prayed, so did everyone who gathered in a room at another business 200 yards away.

    "It was scary. I thought we were gone. I honestly did, I thought we were gone," Dollins Collision Center owner Bill Dollins said. "I feel very blessed. I feel double blessed. We came out with our lives and never lost a thing in the shop or anything."

    With the building completely in shambles, most business owners aren't sure what they'll do next. They said they're just going to take it one day at a time.