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Virginia winery owner 1 year after tornado: 'Incredible community support... made us so strong'

Good Luck Cellars Isaias Damage .png
Posted at 10:12 AM, Aug 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-09 16:24:21-04

KILMARNOCK, Va. -- One year after a tornado from Tropical Storm Isaias ripped through the Good Luck Cellars winery in Kilmarnock, the winery has since rebuilt and reopened its doors. But the man with the vision, it no longer there.

On the morning of August 4, 2020, a tornado that traveled from White Stone to Kilmarnock hit Good Luck Cellars, causing major damage to the porch, toppling the winery's chimney and leaving water damage inside the building.

Owner Paul Krop spoke with CBS 6 that day, calling the situation "tragic."

But a more devastating storm for the Krop family was just around the corner.

One year later, evidence of Tropical Storm Isaias remained -- with tilted, damaged trees still visible on the property.

But owner Katie Krop, said she was amazed by the progress that had been made to the winery, which included a newly-expanded porch and repaired building.

"They’re working on the chimney," said Krop. "There’s about five or six things left."

Katie and her husband Paul first opened the winery 10 years ago.

"It was his dream and we followed it. And it's been great," said Krop

Even after the tornado hit, the Krop’s were able to reopen just one week later using a tent and portable office.

"And we did it that way until the second week in December, when we reopened this building," said Krop. "I think what made us so strong about it was the incredible community support we had."

But in October, the family took another hit after Paul's sudden death.

"He just suffered a massive stroke and was gone," said Krop. "We certainly miss him dreadfully. Everybody misses him. It’s not only me."

But even amid the loss, Krop said she noticed something following last year’s storm.

"This vineyard, where the lighter color, were almost entirely flatted," said Krop. "The vines themselves lived through it because they’re so flexible, so after we got the post back up we just tied them back up and they did fine."

Krop hoped that could be a metaphor to live by.

"We’re all trying to get back to normal. Whatever normal is and we’re all working on it," Krop said.

She added that the winery was seeing great business, and she and the staff there planned to continue to live out Paul's dream.

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