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Historic motel continues repairs five months after Eldon tornado

A historic motel is still undergoing repairs five months after an EF3 tornado ripped through mid-Missouri in May.

Historic Randles Court owner Jennifer Hart said the 1830s motel was damaged by a fire in 2017 and she planned to have a grand reopening May 24, 2019, but the tornado struck two days before on May 22.

“We had to start over essentially from where we were, so we’re on repeat mode right now,” Hart said.

She said the storm busted 12 windows, removed the roof and shattered the motel’s large neon sign. Repairs are estimated at more than $200,000.

“We know that people are happy we are restoring them and preserving a piece of history so it keeps us going,” she said.

Hart said the 1947 neon sign is getting repaired after it was shattered into 40 pieces by the tornado.

“We found all the pieces of the sign and it’s being restored,” she said.

Three rooms at the motel have reopened and three more will open in the next month. Hart is opening a vintage Christmas tree lot on the property this winter.

Hart said she’s planning a grand reopening celebration in the spring of 2020 and will open the historic motel to the community for tours.

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Copyright 2019 KMIZ

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