GULFPORT, Fla. (WTSP) -- Richard Reale had barely unlocked the door of his storm-battered restaurant Friday when two men walked up holding a vase and flowers.
"Isn't that nice? Thanks, guys!" Reale said, accepting the gift. "We'll be open at 11. Come back and see your flowers displayed!"
The generous spirit of neighbors is the very reason Reale was able to open Yummy's cafe back up for business .
At 11 a.m. Friday, Reale welcomed in customers. That was just 24 hours after an apparent tornado -- spawned by Tropical Storm
Andrea and shown in this surveillance video -- threw a tree into the restaurant's dining room.
Dozens of neighbors simply showed up to clear it away.
"It's a very heartwarming sight," Reale said. "Gulfport's a great place."
An investigative crew from the National Weather Service plans to visit Gulfport Friday to determine whether the wind burst that threw down limbs along the city's main street Thursday was truly a tornado.
The hot dog steamers are on. Fresh ice cream's been delivered.
In business five years now, Reale says Yummy's will have to adapt to life without its signature cedar tree out front.
"The shade from the tree's no longer there. I guess we need to buy some more umbrellas at the moment," Reale said with a chuckle.
Laughing through it all, Reale is confident the quirky, caring Gulfport community that helped him reopen will be back to help keep him in business.
"We can't keep the doors shut," he explained. "People need to fill their tummies at Yummy's, man."