RICHMOND, Ind. (WDTN) – The Richmond Mall reopened Tuesday morning after it was damaged in an EF0 tornado, but some stores remained closed.
At 10 a.m., it welcomed shoppers for the first time since the tornado damaged eight stores on June 15.
A handful of interior stores including Maurice’s and Victoria’s Secret are still closed as they are continuing to make repairs, but they should open quicker than Office Max and JCPenney, which are exterior stores, as mall officials say they were hit the hardest.
“Most of the damage was actually from the air handling units rolling across the roof and puncturing in certain places,” said Chad Holland, the general manager of Paul Davis Restoration.
Holland said his company and many others are still busy repairing those stores, but they are moving swiftly.
“Really, probably the next week or two, you’ll have no idea walking through the mall that anything happened at all,” said Holland.
Mall officials told 2 NEWS in a statement, JCPenney and Office Max received most of the damage, and they are continuing to assess those spaces to see what needs to be done to repair and rebuild.
Many employees said they are grateful they are coming back because losing those stores could hurt everyone.
“JCPenney is a big store, so I’m excited they’re going to stay, they bring in a lot of people,” said Linda Hampton.
Mall officials said they are confident interior mall operations will be back to normal for the Summer Showcase on July 18.
2 NEWS is continuing to follow this story and will update when official opening dates of the stores that remain closed are determined.