82-year-old Alto dealership struck by hail, two tornadoes

Pearman: These storms won’t break our spirit.

82-year-old Alto dealership struck by hail, two tornadoes
Source: KLTV Staff

ALTO, TX (KLTV) - An Alto business is recovering from a trifecta of severe weather.

The 82-year-old establishment told us they’ve always been lucky when it came to severe weather, but that all changed in a matter of two weeks.

Owner of Pearman Motor Company, Bob Pearman, is putting the initial damages at over $2 million.

“I’m sure there will be some vehicles that will be a total loss,” said Pearman.

He said on April 6, a massive hail storm came raining down on his lot.

“It would range from a tennis ball to a softball,” he said about the size of the hail stones.

Then one week to the day on April 13, “we got hit with not one tornado but two within a two hours’ time.”

Walking through the lot, damages can be seen on nearly every vehicle and truck.

Source: KLTV Staff
Source: KLTV Staff

Salesmen like Dickie Smith said they are showing off cars like they’ve never had to do before.

“Not in 34 years I've worked here I've never seen anything like it,” said Smith.

Only a handful of pickup trucks and SUVs were left untouched by Mother Nature. The Pearman family business has been in operation in Alto since 1937, and they say these storms will not put a dent in their confidence.

“We’ve been here for a while,” said Pearman. “I think the community is really coming together as a whole and we all have the same fighting spirit that we’re not going to let this defeat us.”

To help the victims of these storms, click here to donate to either the American Red Cross or the East Texas Food Bank. Both agencies are working daily in these storm-impacted areas of East Texas.

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