SWAINSBORO, Ga. (WJBF) – Heavy winds tore the roof of a storefront plaza in Swainsboro. Fire crews were out at the Dream Center trying to get things cleaned up.
“I’m emotional, because I’m praising God,” said store owner, Ashley Kennison.
Ashley Kennison is the owner of Magnolia Shed. She says she’s thankful that she and her daughters were not inside of this building when heavy winds tore off the roof.
“We close at 5 and it was getting pretty dark and I just felt like it was the Lord that said you need to go home. We closed at about a quarter till and I just live up the road and this happened within 30 minutes of me leaving the store and getting home,” said Kennison.
Kennison owns just one of the stores in this building. She says the owner of the plaza called and told her about the storm, but she wasn’t expecting to see this.
“I was just in complete shock,” said Kennison.
Kennison took NewsChannel 6 through what was left of the store. She says while some of her products were salvageable most of it was destroyed. There are two other stores in the plaza and a church that also felt the brunt of this storm.
She says, “Their whole roof is completely gone and so it ruined their whole space and as far as DreamMaker Bath and Wise Solutions I know that it pulled back that whole back area. I have spoken with everybody and everybody, but at this moment right now, we don’t know what to do.”
Swainsboro Chief of Police and the Sheriff were out directing traffic till 11 PM Tuesday night. The storms caused power outages throughout downtown Swainsboro, causing traffic lights to go out.
“We’ve got several streets that are actually blocked with debris. There’s one here to your right, half of the building is in it. We’ve got several trees down in some of the areas and some of these areas are not lit very well, so for some of the people who are out use caution,” said Randy Ellison, Swainsboro Chief of Police.
City leaders had to shut down several roads throughout Swainsboro.
“Louis street, which is behind what we refer to as the alternative school, it’s completely closed. There’s a huge Oak Tree down there with lines wrapped around it. Marian Street at the Presbyterian Apartments there’s a tree across that roadway as well. There’s also a tree on Ardon Drive, which is west of here it has completely blocked the roadway,” said Chief Ellison.
Those roads will be closed for the duration of Tuesday night into Wednesday morning.