Dallas Tornado Recovery Progress

Some businesses reopen, others still struggle, four weeks after Dallas tornado

Sunday marks four weeks since the devastating Dallas tornado that damaged hundreds of buildings. While some businesses are still struggling to recover, others have worked hard to reopen.

Friday at lunchtime, the 41-year-old Wild Turkey Restaurant on Walnut Hill Lane got back in business. Loyal customers were waiting.

John Lamb was the first.

"This place has been here a long time, a great landmark," he said.

Lamb said he has been a customer for around 20 years and looked forward to returning.

"We've been seeing the progress. We saw the devastation first of course," Lamb said.

Owner Rolando Rosales said he nearly cried when he first saw the damage four weeks ago. The roof was shattered. The place was soaked.

"There was no roof, no A/C and all rain down inside and all mess. It was very difficult thing for me," he said.

But Rosales had insurance. His customers were greeted Friday with a new roof, several new walls, fresh paint and a new ventilation system, while keeping the same atmosphere and rustic décor.

"It looks good, looks good," said customer Mike Pierce.

He sat with a group of customers who've been visiting the place since around the time if first opened in 1978.

"I think it is the right thing to do, help them out," said returning customer Larisa Gonzalez.

Nearby in the Dallas tornado damage zone, businessman Scott Coberly was not as lucky. His catering and restaurant equipment supply business is still a wreck. His business was not insured.

Coberly said he is devastated, but still grateful.

"I left 30 minutes before the storm hit. That's why I'm thankful. This can all be replaced," Coberly said. "What I'm going to do at this point is just regroup and start over. I've got 5 kids and I'm happy to be alive."

Restaurant owner Rosales said reopening Friday took a lot of hard work but he is relieved that customers returned.

"It makes me feel great. It makes me feel that all the hard work I do, it paid off. And I thank them," Rosales said. "And I invite everyone else around the area that got damage from the tornado to really work hard and keep on going."

The City of Dallas counted more than 900 buildings damaged by the October 20 tornado with more than 100 totally destroyed.

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