Rebuilding Amory: Community marks 1 year since deadly tornado

AMORY, Miss. (WCBI) – Even a year later, many people and businesses are still in recovery mode.

But a growing number have repaired the damage and are getting back to business as usual.

Bill’s Hamburgers has been a mainstay on the Amory restaurant scene since the 1920s, but that didn’t matter to Mother Nature last year.

The tornado caused significant damage to the roof and dining room, forcing Will Pate to shut the doors for more than two months until repairs could be completed.

“We lost two full months of income which was tens of thousands of dollars, because that is our busy season. April, May, and June are some of our busiest months of the year. You have to think of what we lost. Because we lost all income from the railroad festival. So, we lost well over $40-$60,000 from those two months alone,” said Will Pate, Bill’s Hamburgers Owner.

Before the tornado, hairstylist Carleen Bailey had her own downtown salon. That all changed in one night.

Today, she works at Revive Hair Salon. She said as of now, that’s where she plans to stay.

“I lost my business, and I have not rebuilt. But I am here at Revive downtown on Main Street. I am working here for Pamela Hester, and this is where I have been working since the storm hit,” said Bailey.

Amory Mayor Corey Glenn said the city’s recovery is coming along well, but there’s still work to be done.

“A lot of recovery has taken place over the past 12 months, and I personally feel like we are about 90% of where we need to be. The balance of that other 10% will probably take another two years to get through. We have walked through the recovery phase, but we still have a long way to go through,” said Glenn.

Bailey has some words of advice for other business owners, as we get ready for this upcoming severe weather season.

“Just be prepared for the weather period because we do not know how the weather is going to go. So, just be prepared for the weather period,” said Bailey.

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