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Auto shop in Athens ready to open second business after storm damage

Sides Auto Body Shop is coming back after a tornado in December

Posted: Feb 10, 2020 9:15 PM

A business badly damaged by recent storms is coming back stronger than ever.

Less than two months after devastating damage, Sides Auto Body Shop on U.S. Highway 72 is planning to open a second store.

Courtesy of Keith N Hope Sides

We spoke with employees at the shop about what they're doing differently this time around.

Sides Auto Body is still open despite work still having to be done on its roof.

But they told us they're about to open a second shop to use in case a storm damages one or the other.

"Right now, nothing's keeping us down. You're never prepared to be hit by a storm. Especially one like that" said Jonathan Johnson.

Jonathan Johnson works at Sides Auto Shop and told us neighbors helped cleaning up from December’s storm.

"We're glad we have a lot of people in this area that are helpful and we're thankful that people helped us get back on our feet and hopefully we don't have much disruption for our customers," said Johnson.

In late December, a tornado ripped off a portion of the shop’s roof, fencing and sign.

But now, they're ready for more rain and say they'll be doing this through the night.

"Pray," he said.

Johnson told us they'll be moving all the cars in the garage and cover them with to protect from any water damage or hail that could possibly come our way.

They're hoping to open the new shop on March 2 and told us this shop is made of brick so it could withstand heavier storms.

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