Plaza TV & Appliance back in original location after tornado damage

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The number of tornadoes in Illinois is down one third this year. One tornado of 20 destroyed a 35-year-old building, forcing the business owner to temporarily relocate. Now, it is back in its original spot on Oakland Avenue in Decatur.

New siding, windows, doors and more and Plaza TV & Appliance is back to normal, in the spot the owners built in 1978. The only missing piece, a new sign, that will signal to everyone driving by that Plaza TV is back.

 "It's been quite a journey," expressed business owner Doug Sroka.

A journey that started May 31 when an E-F-1 tornado blew through the business.

"I don't care to ever go through it again," he said.

Just one of two tornadoes to hit Central Illinois.

"I'm just the chosen one," Sroka said with a laugh. "I'm just the lucky bunch."

And 20 total to touch down in the state.

"That's relatively quiet compared to the average numbers that we see," explained Illinois State Climatologist Dr. Jim Angel.

But its created a lot of noise for Sroka who had to rebuild his business; $350,000 later, Plaza TV & Appliance is back.

"It was a long, grueling four months," Sroka said.

Now that he's back in his original spot, Sroka has his warehouse, his service area and his display floor all in one location.

"All being in one location with a warehouse really has helped out," he said.

It's helped out Sroka and his customers.

 

"I still have the microwave we bought back in the 1970's," said long-time customer Sallie Klebe with a smile.

"They've taken care of us very well and if you have a problem Doug is right out there right now to fix it," said long-time customer Bob Ketenbrink.

And even through change, there is one thing that's been constant.

"The faces behind the counter, they've been there for so long," Klebe said.

And they'll continue to have their doors open, even if another tornado closes in.

All of the decorations inside of the store, like the color on the walls and the paintings, Sroka said his wife helped decorate.

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