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Athens business damaged in severe storm

Sides Auto Body Shop was damaged in Sunday's storm.

Posted: Dec 30, 2019 6:12 AM
Updated: Dec 30, 2019 12:24 PM

An Athens business is busy picking up the pieces after a storm caused heavy damage to its building. Sides Auto Body Shop was heavily damaged in the storm, but the body shop on Highway 72 opened its doors Monday despite the damage.

We talked to the manager of the business who said he was shocked when he saw the extent of the damage.

"I couldn't believe it. I mean, I didn't realize it had gotten that bad. Kinda where I live, I mean it was just heavy rain," said Keith Sides.

Sides is a manager at Sides Auto Body Shop. He said he got a call from the fire department Sunday night telling him there was severe damage at the business.

"One of our bottom shops, the back roof, is about three quarters of the way gone," he said.

Not only was part of the roof gone, but the frame of a nearby billboard was wrapped around the power lines with the billboard itself inside a ditch in front of the business.

Sides said it'll take one to two months for the damage to be repaired, but for now, they're just grateful no one was hurt.

"If it would've been during the middle of the workday, you know, it could've been some, you know, serious injuries or something like that. So, we're just happy that no one got hurt," he said.

The National Weather Service will be out surveying parts of Limestone County for damage and crews will likely stop at the body shop. Right now, the employees are trying to run the business as normal. However, their internet is down, making running the business difficult.

This business wasn't the only place hit. Off of Highway 72 and Washington Street, the Chevron gas station sign tipped over. A mobile home was damaged on Chris Way, and some customers in Athens were without power because of the storms.

Cleanup will begin Monday morning in all of the areas that experienced damage. 

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