West Liberty shows signs of growth

By: Katie Roach Email
By: Katie Roach Email

Sunday marked the six month anniversary of the deadly tornadoes that devastated so many parts of our region.

Since the tornado hit the heart of downtown West Liberty many businesses were destroyed, but those too are starting to come back including one business that many say is an icon in this town.

Since then, we have seen a lot of progress in the affected areas.

Walking down the streets of West Liberty one can see things are not back to normal yet.

Each day there is progress, whether it's a new roof, more debris removed or a business reopening.

Signs around the downtown area remind people that businesses will be coming back, but the mayor of West Liberty says that it will take time.

But for one local icon… it’s nearly back!

The foundation is the same but almost everything else about the Freezer Fresh is brand new.

“Peer pressure? Popular demand? Whatever the owners decided to rebuild,” Shirley Evens said.

Many call this place an icon and even though they have not set an opening date yet, they are already receiving orders.

Employee Shirley Evans calls it a sign of hope for a community that is rebuilding in some places from the ground up.

“It's a big hope that yes things can return to normal and we are working toward normal as much as possible,” Evans said.

Built with the almost the exact same design, the Freezer Fresh does not want to change too much about their business. In fact they were able to save their ice cream machine even though most of the building was destroyed.

It may take time, but people here say West Liberty is coming back one business at a time.

Mayor Jim Rupe says he thinks it will take about 3 years for the city to completely recover.

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