High winds cause damage to business, home - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

High winds cause damage to business, home

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June 24, 2004

Douglas- Thunderstorms high winds did leave their mark in some places Wednesday.

"It's probably one of the most violent things I've ever seen," said Chad Odum, an employee at Robert Fender Chevrolet in Douglas.

Caught on tape, this storm blew through Robert Fender Chevrolet in Douglas in about a minute.

"Then all of a sudden, bam! Within a matter of a minute or two, it came in, whatever it was, and just fell right on top of us, it seems like."

And left behind a car lot full of damage. The burst of wind blew out the sign. The glass from the sign broke car windows, and flattened tires that have barely been on the road.

A tent set up in the lot was picked up by the wind and tossed across several vehicles and left even more damage in its path, changing one customer's purchasing plans and ruining the day of a young driver.

"He just pulled up right before it happened," Odum said. "And said, 'I'm kind of looking for a sign, ya know, to let me know if I need to buy this car or not.' And all of a sudden, kaboom! He said 'Well, I guess I got my sign.' And of course he left."

"All of a sudden the tent just picked up and just went right over her car with the blocks and everything," said another salesman Russell Mills. "(The driver of the car) just got her driver's license today and she was going to driver her car around with her sister tonight."

Storm damage is turning out to be commonplace for this car lot. The previous location was hit by another storm in 2001. At least this storm left most of the roof.

"It demolished our building uptown," Odum said. "It's weird how it's happened twice to us and it just happens to us."

Employees here are hoping they stay out of the way of angry winds so it doesn't happen again.

The wind was just as bad in areas of Irwin County. So strong, in fact, it blew a pine tree onto Jared Garner's home on Lower Rebecca Road taking the power lines with it.

Fortunately, no one was in the house.

"They called me at work and said there's a tree on your house," said Jared Garner. "And I just came on out here. Looks like the carport and some of my dining room's messed up and it's leaking in there now."

Garner only lived in his home for about a year.

updated at 10:12AM by brannon.stewart@walb.com