Cairo businesses recovering 1 year after EF-2 tornado

Published: Mar. 3, 2020 at 8:41 PM EST
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CAIRO, Ga. (WALB) - Tuesday marked one year since an EF-2 tornado hit Cairo.

Many homes and businesses were destroyed.

Teresa Lewis, the owner of Cairo City Grill, said some repairs from the tornado were just completed Monday.

Lewis said getting the roof fixed was long overdue.

“It should have never went on that long," said Lewis.

Lewis bought the Cairo City Grill in December and said nothing had been fixed since the storm.

“My employees would stay aggravated, they were just tired of seeing it in the state that it was in,” said Lewis.

Lewis said almost a year’s worth of rain was filling up in the ceilings.

But Lewis said she’s excited they’re almost complete with the entire place.

“To walk in and see that place with a clean ceiling now, that’s not sagging, discolored and looking like it’s ready to fall through at any moment," explained Lewis.

IGA grocery store was also hit hard.

One clerk said she was in the store when the storm came through.

"Me and one of the cashiers went in one of the offices and we just started praying. When it came through, it kind of touched down on the roof and also the side of the building,” said clerk Sherrie Godwin. “We looked around and saw where it took the roof off over in the produce area and then at that time, they had ceiling tiles and the ceiling tiles just started falling out.”

Godwin said it took about eight months to repair the store.

They were closed down until the first of October, but she said the store is now doing really well.

"But other than that, I think everybody’s coming back and smiling thinking, ‘We made it,’” said Godwin.

Godwin and Lewis both said Cairo’s recovery seems slow, but the community is grateful that they made it through such a terrible day.

Lewis said she’s ready for her restaurant to have a new start.

“The place was in pretty bad shape and now it’s gonna be new and then the beauty of it, it’s gonna be my touch,” said Lewis.

Lewis said she hopes to have the restaurant back open within the next couple of weeks.

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