Clean-up begins along Germantown Parkway - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Clean-up begins along Germantown Parkway

(Source: My 5) (Source: My 5)
(Source: My 5) (Source: My 5)

By Nick Kenney - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

CORDOVA, TN (WMC-TV) - Businesses along Germantown Parkway started the long process of clean-up and rebuilding Friday, one day after many were damaged by an EF-1 tornado.

The tornado was 250 yards wide and cut a five-mile swath of damage just south of Interstate 40 in the Wolfchase area of Shelby County, east of the city.

The tornado collapsed the south wall of a Kohl's department store before flipping a tractor-trailer in the store's parking lot and knocking over street lights. The tornado then hit a small shopping center nearby, a restaurant and a neighboring gas station before reaching a subdivision, where it damaged at least 50 homes.

By early afternoon, clean-up crews had collected a large mess from in front a Shogun Restaurant, but not before finding a mailbox that belonged to an Ashley Furniture store, located further down Germantown Parkway.

"(We're) just cleaning what we can and trying to get the place back up to shape," Shogun employee Gary Benca said.

Across the street, the damage was almost identical.  Nearly one dozen light posts were toppled, and the ones left standing were wrapped with unknown things from unknown places.

Dennis and Leah Allen showed up Thursday afternoon to collect their smashed SUV, left overnight in the parking lot.

"We knew it was close, but we did not know at that point that it had hit here this close.

At touchdown, the Allen's daughter, Lauren, was shopping inside Kohl's, while they looked after their granddaughter, Analise.

"She called several times while it was happening...she just kept saying, "Take care of my baby,'"  they said. "I'm sure she thought she would never see her again - our granddaughter."

The thought of what could've happened was still bothersome.

"That's the biggest thing - everybody here is okay," Benca said.

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