Mixed Results For Business Owners Overcoming Tornado Damage

Gulfport store owners devastated by severe weather back in November have spent the past few months trying to get back to business as usual. A tornado left several million dollars worth of damage along Dedeaux Road. Some businesses are recuperating better than others.

Stan McCaffrey owns two buildings on Dedeaux Road. A few months ago a tornado struck them both. One was a sign shop.

"Minor damage," said McCaffrey."Shingles and holes in walls. Some paint skinned up."

The other building which he leased out to a car tune up business was also hit.

"Tore up completely," he said. "Messed up good."

The sign store was insured. The tune up shop wasn't. Because of that, McCaffrey calls Mother Nature's path of destruction "ironic".

"Seeing that they're right beside each other."

Early one morning last November, Mart Allen his found 50-year-old dry cleaning business in shambles.

"All the columns in the front were blown down. All the windows were blown out," said Allen."The roof, a lot of it was torn off."

Allen says the $60,000 in damages did little to wrinkle his business. As of this past weekend, everything from the roof to the carpet has been replaced. Allen says everything is back to normal. Well, almost everything.

"The only thing I have left is I have some pictures I have to put on the wall, but other than that it's been real real easy."

McCaffrey wishes he could say the same about his immediate future.

"Trying to figure out what to do," said McCaffrey.

Several other area business owners we talked to said they're still making repairs.