DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – After being mostly destroyed by the recent EF-3 tornado, customers showed up Friday to support a Dallas store in business for nearly 70 years.

North Haven Gardens was destroyed by a recent tornado in Dallas. (CBS 11)

People started lining up at North Haven Gardens even before the store opened Friday for its three day “survivor” sale.

The owner, Jon Pinkus, said, “It’s very hard, it’s emotional. We had a lot of memories here.”

Jon Pinkus – North Haven Gardens owner (CBS 11)

The twister may not erase any of those memories, but it sure did a number on the store that’s been in Pinkus’ family since 1951.

The store’s General Manager, Cody Hoya, said the tornado flattened every building including the main store, offices, and six greenhouses.

He said watching crews clean up all the debris has been tough for him and their 40 employees.

“There was a kind of a catch your breath moment, tears came to your eyes,” he said.

Customers, including those who’ve shopped here for 20 to 30 years, showed up for the sale, in which everything is 50% off.

But this isn’t about the bargains.

Linda Chow said when she looks at all the damage, “I want to cry.”

Nancy Somodevilla said, “We need to support our community and the people who’ve lost so much.”

Nan Miller said, “This is a community business and we have to support our local community especially at time a like this, it’s really important.”

Seeing and hearing the customers’ response, that’s very emotional because that’s who we serve,” said Pinkus.

He hopes to rebuild in within a year so they can continue to serve.

“We got to make lemonade out of lemons, We make jokes, gone with the wind. It’s not going to be easy.”

The sale continues Saturday and Sunday, and then the store will close until the Monday before Thanksgiving, when it will start selling Christmas trees and plants.

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