'Survival Sale' Helps Business And Residents Rebound From Storms
The strongest of last month's tornados hit North Dallas -- and destroyed every single building at North Haven Gardens, a 5-acre family-owned nursery. The storm obliterated about 65% of the inventory. Everything that's left is part of a special "tornado survivor sale."
The line to pay on Friday was more than an hour long because through Sunday, every fern, flower pot and ficus at North Haven Gardens is for sale, half-off and cash only.
The parking lot was swarmed -- customers loaded hand carts with lilies and lime trees, potting soil and peonies. To many people in line, the plants they're buying are badges of storm survival.
"You go somewhere you want a souvenir, but this is a living souvenir of somebody that's made it though," said Susie Andrews. Andrews, who lives in North Dallas, carried armfuls of pansies and rosemary to the register.
Some other customers loaded pickup trucks with a dozen trees. Liane LaBarba bought 17 new ones after the tornado ripped up almost everything in her yard. "Front and back, almost all the way around they're all gone," she said.
As a matter of fact, LaBarba said, the only two trees left standing in her yard came from North Haven Gardens.
"Sunday afternoon, four hours before the storm, I was here talking to them about what I could plant because I couldn't grow a blade of grass. And now all I have is sun," she said.
North Haven Gardens staffers say they hope to rebuild and re-open within a year.