CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - A family business in the Cape Girardeau, Mo. area is picking up the pieces after high winds destroyed one of their locations.
Staff with Hoffman Family Fireworks have been working around the clock to recover after a storm toppled a large firework tent in Cape Girardeau.
Rick Hoffman, who owns the business with his wife MaryAnne, says they've lost thousands of dollars in merchandise and selling time during the busiest time of the year.
"We've been doing fireworks in the Cape area for at least 40 years," Mr. Hoffman said. "Occasionally we might have a corner or something loosens up, but this is the first time we've had a total collapse."
Long-time employee Andrea Sachse was under the large tent when the storm hit and says it was a scary couple of minutes.
"It was more of the aftermath that emotionally tore me apart," she said. "That all of our work for the past two plus days was down the drain, literally."
Sachse says she was holding onto a pole and praying the storm would pass Tuesday night when a strong wind picked up a large sign and took out numerous support poles.
"I am thankful that I was the only one in the tent and we did not have all of our workers setting up," Sachse said. "This came so fast if we would've had a tent full of people it would not have been a pretty scene."
Hundreds of wet fireworks were scooped up and put in trash bags Wednesday morning, and Hoffman tells says it's big loss especially during the eight day selling season.
"Not only are we losing I would estimate $10,000 in inventory, but we are also losing two days of business," he said. "But we've been very fortunate. The people of Cape have been supportive and I'm hoping to welcome everybody that have been customers and maybe a few new ones to come a see how we've recuperated from all of this."
Hoffman says they have extra stock in their warehouse to replace what was lost and is thankful to his staff for putting in extra time to get the firework stand in Cape back to normal.
"I'm thankful that no one was hurt," Sachse said. "The merchandise can be replaced. It's stuff and we will be up and running as soon as the tent is up and we restock."
The plan is to reopen the Cape firework tent Friday morning, but family business does have two other locations that are currently open in Jackson and Scott City.