A Sioux Falls business is ringing in the new year by moving back into its old store. Handy Man Home Remodeling Center was heavily damaged by a tornado in September, but it’s going to be back in business on East 10th Street where it’s been for 25 years.
Handy Man owner Steve Swenson says the memories of September 11 2019 are still vivid.
“The manager called me while I was still at home and he said, hey, you better grab some plywood we got a few windows broken out. I don’t think he wanted to tell me how bad it was,” Swenson said.
It was bad enough to close the store.
“There were two great big holes in the roof. It got two inches of water inside the store. Our whole display floor was demolished,” Swenson said.
The Handy Man store that helps people remodel needed a remodeling job of its own.
“It’s a heck of a way to remodel, your store. It’s a forced remodel that’s for sure,” Swenson said.
Night manager Clayton Jacobson was the last person to see the old store in one piece.
“Just flicked the lights off to the building and little did I know that right where I was standing flicking all those switches, that’s where the building had the initial collapse and cave in,” Jacobson said.
Jacobson is glad to be restocking the shelves after the business was running out of a temporary location since shortly after the storm.
“We’ve completely retrofitted the whole thing, it’s literally a whole reboot. We started with the elephant skeleton or the elephant bones, gutted the whole thing and we’re just rebuilding the store from scratch,” Jacobson said.
Customers like Mike Frerichs are glad to see Handy Man open, even if it’s a work in progress.
“Oh, I’ll be back once they get it all filled in to check it out,” said Frerichs.
Handy Man gets new carpet installed tomorrow and will ring in the new year at 8 a.m. Thursday.
“Super happy to be able to say we’re open on day one of 2020, even though we’re closed on January 1, but we’ll be ringing in the new year in our new, old location,” Swenson said.
“Here we are, New Year’s Eve, coming into 2020 and we’re going to be roaring, we’re ready to roll,” said Jacobson.