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SENECA, S.C. (WSPA)- The town of Seneca didn’t look the same after the night of April 13th, when an EF-3 tornado touched down, killing one person and destroying hundreds of buildings.

Project manager, Collin Hammonds, who’s overseeing the reconstruction of a damaged restaurant, was shocked by what he saw.

“It’s crazy to see what a tornado can do to houses,” Hammonds said. “It’s crazy to think that this building got hit this way, the building right behind it got hit the same way, and the house over here at the corner looks like it didn’t get hit at all.”

The Dimas Bros Cafe was a Seneca favorite.

 Before the tornado, there was always a line out the door.

Now, it’ll be months before it can open back up.   

Hammonds said, “The siding and the roof had a lot of holes in it. We went around for about a week and repaired the holes in the roof and siding.”

However, the two head chefs at Dimas Bros Cafe, said they couldn’t give up on Seneca.

With the help of the community and an investor, they refurbished an old building and opened a new restaurant called Vangeli’s.

They say say it’s not just a restaurant, but a symbol of resilience for Seneca.

“Maybe a little bit of hope,” Hammonds said. “That we can hang on and still provide the restaurant and cafe that they enjoy being at and not giving up. So when this is all done with.. they have a little bit of resemblance of a normal life before it all happened.”

There’s still many other buildings that have a long way to go before they’re back to normal but those in the Seneca community told me that they won’t stop helping until everyone is back on their feet.

Relief funds for the Seneca tornado can be found here.

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