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Hannibal Courier - Post - Hannibal, MO
  • 308 Main Street will stay

  • The damage left from heavy winds on May 20 is still visible around Hannibal.
    Trees stand split in wooded areas, properties are littered with debris, and grave stones in cemeteries are lying face down in the dirt as result of the powerful winds.
    But the biggest impact is downtown along Main Street.
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  • The damage left from heavy winds on May 20 is still visible around Hannibal.
    Trees stand split in wooded areas, properties are littered with debris, and grave stones in cemeteries are lying face down in the dirt as result of the powerful winds.
    But the biggest impact is downtown along Main Street.
    308 Main Street was standing tall May 20, but when the storm rolled in the historic structure practically toppled from the third floor as the roof caved in, sending layers of bricks and debris falling to the ground in the adjacent parking lot and connecting building.
    "I think it was an out-of-body experience," building owner Carol Estes said Tuesday about receiving the news that night. She resides in Indiana near the Chicago area. "I drove all night to get there."
    Just 14 hours after the storm rattled America's Hometown, Estes arrived to see her building — that was the home to Groomingdales — halfway gone. It has taken time, it hs taken discussions and meetings, but the building, she said, can be saved and she plans to rebuild and keep a piece of the historic district from going off into oblivion.
    "I can't in my own good conscious walk away," Estes said. "There's a lot of history in the building."
    There's hope to have the bottom floor re-opened on the one-year anniversary of the storm, May 20, 2014, but Estes said there are a number of unknowns. She mentioned the process to rebuild is not moving at a fast pace.
    "It would be nice if things moved better than a snail's pace," she said.
    Originality does come into question in the rebuilding process.
    While many of the bricks were destroyed in the storm, a large number just fell to the ground. There is hope some of those bricks will be used once again in the building's reconstruction.
    However, like the timeline to get the structure back to 100 percent, that too is unknown.
    "I want to salvage as much as I can out of it," Estes said. "That's still a question to be answered."
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