By Kelly Kazek
— Editor’s Note: The News Courier staff is continuing to gather information on businesses that were struck by the April 27 tornadoes. Call 256-232-2720 to report businesses not mentioned here.
The rubble left behind on April 27 included not only the belongings of families and the bricks of homes, but the dreams and sweat equity of business owners.
In an informal survey, The News Courier staff visited or called businesses along the tornado path to determine the economic impact.
To date, the survey shows tornadoes damaged as many as 90 businesses, eight public facilities and three churches.
Among the non-residential facilities damaged were:
• Eight public facilities — not including utility infrastructure such as power poles and lines — including East Limestone Volunteer Fire Department, East Limestone High School, Limestone Correctional Facility, Binford Turner Water Treatment Facility, Newby Well and Limestone Correctional Facility Sewer Pump Station, and the District 3 shed.
• Three churches in Limestone County were destroyed, Bethel Church of Christ on U.S. 72, Bethel Freewill Baptist Church on U.S. 31 and Lakeview United Methodist Church on Lucas Ferry Road. Also, the cemetery behind Jacob’s Well Missionary Baptist Church on U.S. 31 cemetery, damaged.
• Fifty-seven local farmers applied for assistance because their crops or livestock were damaged by the storms, according to records from the Farm Service Agency.
• Isom’s Orchard, U.S. 72, damaged, remained open.
• Rebel Machinery, U.S. 31, Tanner, badly damaged, remained open.
• Lindsay Brothers Wholesale Nursery, damage to plants, remained open.
• Preston Home Builders on Pepper Road, badly damaged, operating from a temporary location.
• Ballance Salon, Mooresville Road, badly damaged, rebuilt.
• Dealers Auto Auction, U.S. 72, 10 cars totaled, windows broken, 125 cars repainted, remained open.
• Clem Mobile Home Park, Mooresville Road, heavy damage.
• Phoenix Paintball and Eagle Up Golf, U.S. 72, paint ball field was closed for a month, the golfing range reopened in November.
• Tanner Self Storage, massive damage, opened in January under new owners, North River Storage.
• Roberts Motors Mini Storage, U.S. 31, closed.
• Jimmy’s Greenhouse, East Limestone Road, three buildings demolished, still rebuilding, business open.
• CBI Performance Cars, Mooresville Road, minor damage, no interruption of business.
• Sunset Swim Club, Mooresville Road, severe damage, may reopen.
• K&S Grocery, J&J Oil Texaco, Mooresville Road and U.S. 72, damaged, closed.
• French Mill Stone, corner Mooresville Road and U.S. 72, heavily damaged, remained open.
• Haney Interior Building Company, U.S. 31, destroyed, closed.
• Naylor Painting, U.S. 72, roof damaged, moved to a new location, open for business.
• Majestic Metals, heavily damaged but reopened within three days.
• McCutcheon Tractor, heavy damage to facility, remained open, merged with another dealer.
• Dave’s Seafood Restaurant on U.S. 31 near Tanner, heavily damaged, burned on May 3.
• Swan Creek Mobile Home Park, U.S. 31, heavily damaged.
• Harvest Mini Storage, Smith Vasser Road, destroyed, status unknown.
These businesses on the Madison County side of Harvest also were damaged:
• Piggly Wiggly, Alabama 53, destroyed, has not been rebuilt.
• Sure-Save Pharmacy and convenience store on Alabama 53, destroyed, has reopened without gas station.
• Harvest House Restaurant, Wall Triana Highway, damaged, reopened.
• Ford’s Chapel United Methodist Church, Ford’s Chapel Road, historic chapel destroyed, sanctuary intact.