Clean up underway after storm damage - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Clean up underway after storm damage

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By Jim Wallace - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –Clean up continues after strong winds during thunderstorms cause damage in South Albany last night.

The storm damaged five buildings and a Delta jet at Southwest Georgia Regional Airport.

It also partially ripped the roof off a nearby church during choir practice.

25 people were in the Harvest Kingdom Jubilee Ministry for choir practice just after 8, when the storm hit. They say it sounded like a bomb, and they thought lightning had hit their sanctuary, and then the rain started pouring in on top of them.

The roof is peeled off the top of the Harvest Kingdom Jubilee Ministry sanctuary. The steeple laying in the parking lot. Church chairman William Revill, Junior opens the door to take his first look at the damage in the daylight.

He was one of the people inside last night when the storm hit.

Revill said "The people were here singing. And all of the sudden we heard a bomb type noise. And that's when we ran to the door to see what happened."

No one was hurt. Church members covered furniture and put out every bucket and pan they could find on the pulpit to catch the water pouring through the hole in the roof. The carpet is still soaked.

Revill said "I think that we have a task. We'll get through it."

The airport clocked winds at 74 miles per hour as it tore metal off the roofs of five hangars, and possibly damaged the roof of the terminal. The metal side walls on the hangars are pushed out where the winds blew inside their huge doors.

Take a look at these huge pieces of tin blown off the roof of a nearby hangar. Some of those buildings date back to World War II, giving you an idea how strong the winds in this storm were."

The turbo way ramp used to board jets was blown against the wing of the Delta Connection C.R.J.200 parked by the terminal, causing wing damage. The jet has been repaired, and is waiting for a pilot to fly it back to Atlanta.

The A.D.S.B. antenna installed last year was also damaged.

Airport Director Yvette Aehle said "that's a part of the equipment that's based on their new next generation air traffic control system. The tower they just erected last year and there's a lot of damage in the fencing across the area as well as the equipment."

Church officials say despite the damage to their sanctuary they feel blessed, and the clean up will start as soon as possible.

Airport officials don't think any of the hangars are damaged significantly, and they are not sure if the terminal's roof sustained any damage. The church has canceled bible study tonight, and are not sure where Sunday's services will be held.

Five cars parked outside the church were also damaged when the roof and steeple fell on them.

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