Local business owner works to recover after tornado

GARDEN CITY, Ga. (WSAV) – It’s been five days since an EF-1 tornado ripped its way through part of Garden City, now leaving some business owners to piece together what’s left after the storm. One of those business owners is Jason O’Neil of the Garden City Auto Center.

On Tuesday morning, O’Neil walked through his Auto Center lot with News 3, pointing out all the damage caused by the storm.

“We took extensive damage from two big signs. One sign from Salvation Army, one sign from Advance Auto Parts. [And] it literally hit the vehicle so hard, it broke an engine inside. Then, I got some damage from the Napa Auto Parts sign, where it disintegrated and came over here and was stuck in glass. I had damage coming from all different directions,” O’Neil told News 3.

He tells News 3 he started his small business four years ago, and after it was able to hold-up throughout Hurricane Matthew, he couldn’t believe this happened. O’Neil also told News 3 the damage isn’t going to be paid for by his parent or local insurance companies.

“I’m still probably another week worth of cleaning, another week worth of scrapping cars, or parting out, or whatever I can do try to recover some money.”

O’Neil also won’t be receiving any state or federal financial assistance for his damages.  According to the CEMA Public Information Officer, that’s because the disaster wasn’t widespread enough throughout the entire community.

“Worst case scenario, is pretty much everything, 15 cars is a total loss and they get scrapped out. And I’ll use my, on average, 200 per car, to start over,” said O’Neil.



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