Resilient Ind. town moves ahead year after tornado

By Bruce Schreiner

Associated Press

Published: Thursday, Feb. 28 2013 12:00 a.m. MST

Lenora Hunter needed stitches to close cuts to her head. Her husband was found pinned under a refrigerator.

"My whole world was turned upside down that day," said Hunter, who wears his wedding ring on her left index finger.

The storm destroyed Mt. Moriah Church a few miles from Henryville. All that's left are the church's foundation, steps and basement. A handmade sign overlooking the basement proclaims, "His Church Lives!" A cross made of two branches stands near the steps. Across the road, the new church is going up.

As rebuilding continues, some in Henryville have made the devastation part of their future.

Sherman Sykes' restaurant across from the school complex became a symbol of the storm's destructive power. When he and others emerged from the basement that day, he found a school bus sticking out of his eatery.

"We didn't know a bus was in here until we come up and I peeked around," he said. "They thought I got hit in the head with something because they said, 'A bus?' I said, 'There's a bus in the restaurant.'"

Sykes and his wife, Maureen, lost their entire business. Their insurance settlement covered about $5,000 of the $30,000 it cost to re-equip the eatery. One consolation was that they didn't have to pay for the building's repairs. The construction company did the work for free because it used the restaurant as an office while rebuilding the school.

Sykes has changed his restaurant's name from Budroe's Family Restaurant to Budroe's Bus Stop. Photos of the bus sticking out of his business are displayed throughout the eatery as a reminder.

"You can't keep grieving over what you had and you lost," Sykes said while serving up burgers and fried chicken during a recent lunch rush. "You've got to say, 'Well I had it. It's gone. We'll do it again.'"

Try out the new DeseretNews.com design!
try beta learn more
Get The Deseret News Everywhere