Hattiesburg business remembers damage done in 2013 tornado

Hattiesburg business remembers damage done in 2013 tornado

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Employees at a Hattiesburg business destroyed in the Feb. 10, 2013 tornado are remembering the impact of that storm five years later.

The staff at Flower General by Carlstedt's said they have vivid memories of that EF-4 twister, which injured dozens of people and destroyed hundreds of buildings.

Fortunately, nobody was killed.

The tornado heavily damaged the Bouie Street location of Carlstedt's, but no one was there when it hit.

"The back building was gone completely, because there were two buildings there, built together," said Will Hibley, manager of Flower General by Carlstedt's. "All the coolers were gone, they lost most of the supplies, they were water-damaged or something fell on them and broke them, so we lost a lot."

After the business moved to a new location in Petal, it was hit again by another tornado on Jan. 21, 2017.

"That took out the whole building," said Hibley. "I think some of Bouie (building) was still standing, but (the Petal location) was basically gone, so we moved back across the bridge on the other side of Hattiesburg.

The business is now located in the old Leaf River Sports building on the Evelyn Gandy Parkway.

Hibley and his fellow employees hope they won't have to move again.

"We've made a joke that if it happens again, we're like, 'we're done,' but we won't, because this is what we do and we love it," Hibley said.