Hometown Pride Tour: Bowie businesses working to recover from tornado damage

Updated: Oct. 27, 2020 at 7:19 PM CDT
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BOWIE, Texas (TNN) - In Tuesday’s Hometown Pride Tour, some Bowie businesses have been boarded up since a tornado tore through the town five months ago.

While some of those businesses have been able to reopen, it has not been an easy path for everyone.

“I was doing remodeling to it and it take us a lot of time and a lot of things to do but we finally got it back open," said Omar Hazaimeh, owner of Milano’s Pizza.

On the night of May 29, several homes and businesses were damaged by a tornado that swept through the city.

“The whole ceiling, the insulation pipes and lines were lying all over our floor and filing cabinets and desks and equipment," said Jeri Beckham, co-owner of H&R Block in Bowie along with Diana White. “I think there was six or seven inches of water in the building at one point.”

After deciding their old buildings would take too much to repair, Beckham, White and Hazaimeh have moved. Now, they’re neighbors that have been through a lot together.

“We encouraged each other as we were going through our construction phase, like they would come over to see our progress and we would go over and see theirs,” said Beckham.

Both businesses believe they were able to reopen so soon due to renter’s insurance; something that businesses that remain boarded up don’t have. Sometimes even that’s not enough.

“You think you’re covered and then when you start the move you don’t realize," said Beckham. "We were covered and I thought we were covered well and I’ll tell you now that we have upped our insurance since.”

But the tornado did bring some light to a difficult situation.

“We were renting, now we both are not only business owners but we both own commercial real estate so that also brings more to the community as well," said Beckham.

And most importantly they are not alone.

“That’s how it is, that’s how it should be, we should grow to each other, we should grow together," Hazaimeh.

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