Decades old Lynchburg family business grows from destruction after tornado

An EF-3 tornado destroyed the family business store in April 2018

LYNCHBURG, Va. – It’s a father and son bond one may not completely understand.

Wayne Dewitt was 26 years old when he started the Floor Show Carpet One in Lynchburg.

"The previous show room was dated. I built it in 1978,” Wayne Dewitt said.

He passed the torch to his son Chase Dewitt four years ago.

Then last year, a tornado with winds of more than 150 miles per hour destroyed the 40-year-old business.

“I was told growing up, we couldn’t have tornadoes here. It didn’t happen,” Chase DeWitt said.

“When I came up and walked through the mess we had. I really did start crying because this is my baby. I mean I spent my life building this business,” Wayne Dewitt said.

Wayne asked his son, “What do you want to do, rebuild or walk away?”

“He said 'I can’t let my people down. I want to rebuild.' And I think a lot of it was because he wanted to do it for me. You know he’s that kind of son,” Wayne Dewitt said.

After a year and a few months Chase made his dad proud. 

On Friday, the Dewitts and staff cut the ribbon to celebrate the new store.

“I couldn’t wait for him to see it when he arrived yesterday,” Chase DeWitt said.

“I’m thrilled that he wanted to do it again, to rebuild it, because I knew what kind of massive project that would be. It worked out well,” Wayne Dewitt said.

The father-son duo say this is not just a building to them, it’s home.

"To have him here is absolutely amazing,” Chase DeWitt said.

The Floor Show officially opens to customers on Monday at 9 a.m.

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