Owner of store destroyed by tornado: 'Minor setback for a major comeback'

(WMC-TV) – It is exactly one year since a tornado ripped through West Memphis and one business owner says it has taken until now to get back on his feet.

The store manager maintained a positive attitude after losing almost everything. He says he believes everything happens for a reason.

"We were hit by a tornado on May 25, 2011, and we're moving to a brand new facility on May 25, 2012," said Steve Williams, Southern Pipe and Supply.

Store manager Steve Williams says they lost half their inventory when their warehouse was destroyed in the tornado.

"We lost quarter of a million to a half a million dollars worth of material," said Williams.

They temporarily relocated to a building across street and although it has been hard, Williams says they never closed their doors for business.

"It has been quite a journey but things happen in the best of ways and the Lord works in mysterious ways," he said.

Southern Pipe and Supply is moving all of their inventory to their new location at 4th and Broadway.

Williams says without the help of the West Memphis community, none of it would be happening.

"If it wasn't for the loyalty of the city, the loyalty of Crittenden County, the loyalty of all the people and our contractors, we would never have been able to really build what we've got now," said Williams.

Williams believes the storm was a blessing in disguise and a minor setback for a major comeback.

"He took a building away from us made us go through some minor inconveniences and allowed us to move to a brand new facility that the city of West Memphis is proud to have and show," explained Williams.

That new building is just up the street from their old building. The grand opening for the new Southern Pipe and Supplies will be Monday.

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