"It could have been really bad," Tucker said, during an interview at the recently opened Point S marketing group warehouse in Memphis.
According to local news accounts, one person died and 28 more were injured in the storm, which caused widespread damage to the south side of Covington, a community of about 9,800 residents located 40 miles northeast of Memphis.
A total of 540 buildings were compromised in the disaster, causing an estimated $37 million in damage.
Tucker said he knew the tornadoes were coming to the area, but his experience told him they could change direction in a flash.
"We're used to dealing with them here — duck and cover — but until you get hit by one, it's just a roll of the dice really," he said.
The shop, one of four Triple T Tire & Auto Service locations in Tennessee, has 10 bays, with a commercial shop around the back. It has been part of Triple T since November 2021.
With warnings posted, Tucker said he opened the video feed from the store and watched the approaching storm from the comforts of his home, in Dyersburg, Tenn., 40 miles away.
"We watched it hit the building on our cameras," he said, before the feed was the lost, about a minute later.
His initial reaction?
"I first thought, 'We'll patch it up' ... put something over over the doors, and we would be good to go, open that weekend," he said, smiling.
"But there was just too much stuff damaged," he said.
"We had all these determinations we have to make to even be able to use what we have left. It was pretty catastrophic."
The Covington location, which he said does $1.6 million in sales annually, has been closed since. He estimates it could be between six months and a year before it's ready to reopen.
"That's clearly a guess at this point," Tucker said, noting that area contractors are slammed with work as other area homes and businesses rebuild.
Two of the five contractors he had contacted turned the rebuild down, including a national firm, he said, not because they weren't capable of doing the work, but because they are so far behind with other jobs.
The storm also ripped off the roof of an adjacent NAPA auto parts store.
His employees' homes survived largely unscathed, he said, though one employees home suffered roof damage.