LAWRENCE, KS (KCTV) – The destructive tornado devastated family owned businesses in Linwood and Lawrence.
A tornado destroyed five of the Pendleton’s seven greenhouses. Their machine shed is gone. For 39 years, they’ve operated their country market selling vegetables, flowers and bedding plants.
“We had green tomatoes all over the floor,” Karen Pendleton, with Pendleton's Country Market, said. “We’ve decided to rename them tor-matoes. You gotta see the silver lining somehow.”
Karen and John Pendleton survived the storm in their basement.
“Everything in the house was in shambles. All the windows were broken out. It was raining inside,” Karen said.
“Dust and debris and 100-year-old plaster literally showered out of the ceiling and the walls of this old farmhouse,” John Pendleton said.
After the sound of sirens passed, sounds of repairing and rebuilding began. About 200 people arrived to help salvage what they could.
“A plant brigade of probably 30 people moving all of those plants to the parking lot,” Karen said.
“The fact that the community doesn’t want us to quit. They are encouraging us to keep the business going which is really heartfelt,” John said.
From heavy lifting to friends offering just what the family needed.
“She came and got all of my dirty clothes and took them home to wash them. Little things like that I can’t tell you how much that means,” Karen said. “Today the love that was shown to us on the farm was immense.”
It will be a long road for the Pendleton’s and many of their neighbors whose homes were destroyed near Lawrence and Eudora.
“People often say it’s very hollow to say our prayers are with you. Please send me your prayers. We really do need it. We appreciate it so much that people are thinking of us,” Karen said.
Another friend brought a refrigerated truck to keep flowers alive. The family is preparing floral arrangements for several upcoming weddings. They want to thank every person that has shown support.