Meineke Car Care Center reopens nine months after being hit by tornado

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A Sioux Falls business reopened its doors Tuesday, nine months after being hit by a tornado.

Last September, a trio of tornadoes touched down in Sioux Falls. A number of local businesses were hit hard, including Meineke Car Care Center on west 41st Street.

“You’re kind of numb at first because you just can’t believe it happened and you pull up and there’s just the devastation we saw it’s just like, oh man,” Meineke Car Care Center owner Doug Olson said.

Advance Auto Parts owns the building and made the decision to rebuild. Doug Olson has been leasing space for 19 years and began working with architects from day one of construction.

“Little things like where I wanted my outlets and where we wanted all our stuff to go and where our lights would be and doors and windows and what kind of doors,” Olson said.

Nearly two decades after moving in, Olson has finally made the space his own.

“Nine months you’re working towards this day and it’s finally here, so yeah, we’re excited,” Meineke Car Care Center owner Doug Olson said.

Olson has the same four employees as he did last fall, and for good reason.

“We had good insurance so that helped a lot and kept everybody on the payroll and they didn’t miss a check and they all came back,” Olson said.

After nine long months of rebuilding, Meineke Car Care Center’s return to business was again slowed by COVID-19.

“Some flooring on our step that’s still not here because that factory was shut down and that stuff just behind so there are things that we still don’t have because of that,” Olson said.

His most loyal customers have been holding jobs, waiting for Meineke to reopen, and Olson is thrilled to be back in business.

“I hope things go well so that I can keep it going,” Olson said.

After working nine months to rebuild, Olson says Sunday’s vandalism and looting along 41st Street had him on edge, but the business was not damaged.

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