COPEVILLE (CBS 11 NEWS) – Hooie Hanna says she is still overwhelmed, one month after the EF-2 tornado destroyed her restaurant and several other businesses.
“We need to get our community back, sorry.”
Hanna’s restaurant, “Hooie’s” was a popular spot in town for the five years she owned it. “30 seconds ruined a lot of lives.”
She pointed out where her restaurant’s kitchen once stood.
While we were talking with her, one of her loyal customers, John Lindsey just happened to stop by.
“She is a true angel of God. She takes care of a lot of people,” says Lindsey.
Hanna hasn’t been able to take care of her customers lately.
She’s still mourning the loss of two friends who lived nearby: Jerry Brazeal and Jerry Funderburk were both killed by the tornado.
Funderburk’s wife Tina was seriously hurt, and is still recovering.
As for Hanna, when asked if she has any ray of hope of re-building, she said, “The only hope we have is to rely on our community.”
Hanna’s not the only tornado victim at the southeast intersection of State Highway 78 and County Road 549.
Walter Hill lost the feed store he owned for 23 years. “Just sit around the home bored.”
The 79-year-old said he’s too old to re-build. “Trying to figure out how to make a living. I’ve still got the same bills I had, but nothing to make.”
Hill’s son owns much of the land there, and Hill said his son plans on cleaning up the debris still there and then selling the land.
So re-building will certainly take time.
Hanna said she hopes she’ll qualify for a loan from the Small Business Administration.
She’s as determined as ever. “So we have to find a way to recover and we will, we’re a strong community.”
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