Customers, workers survive Floyd Co. store collapse - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Customers, workers survive Floyd Co. store collapse

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Strong winds ripped off the roof of the Silver Creek Mini-Mart. Strong winds ripped off the roof of the Silver Creek Mini-Mart.
Downed power lines in Silver Creek, Ga. Downed power lines in Silver Creek, Ga.
Vel Watkins' home surrounded by fallen trees Vel Watkins' home surrounded by fallen trees
Storm damage in Silver Creek, Ga. Storm damage in Silver Creek, Ga.
SLIVER CREEK, GA (CBS46) -

Residents in the Silver Creek and Cave Spring communities of Floyd County were hit hard by heavy wind and rain early Monday evening.

The storm ripped the roof off the Silver Creek Mini-mart on Highway 101.

The owner, Nick Patel told CBS Atlanta News that two of the four people who were inside the store received only minor injuries. They ran into a cooler for protection as the store collapsed all around them. 

J.W. DeBoard lines across the street from the mini-mart.  After the storm passed, he went over to take a look at the damage.

"Everything was scattered from there heading toward Cartersville, Ga. It's all damaged. It literally took the groceries and everything and took it away," said DeBoard.

DeBoard's home received some damage, too.  Several fallen trees took down power lines in the area, leaving his home without electricity.

"It pulled all my power lines out of the side of the house. I have a lot of damage in the back yard," said DeBoard.

His neighbor James Childres told CBS Atlanta News that he's certain it was a tornado. He said he saw the funnel cloud dip from the sky as it moved across the horizon.

"I never have been scared before, but that's one time I was really scared," said Childres.

His neighbor Vel Watkins had just arrived home when he saw the funnel cloud approaching.

"We didn't have time to really do nothing but just get in the house and get in the hallway and start praying," said Watkins.

Once the storm passed, Watkins emerged from his home to find that nearly every tree in his yard had fallen, yet his home had no damage.

Power lines also fell across Highway 101 during the height of the storm, landing on an 18-wheeler, shutting down the roadway well into the evening.

Strong winds also did damage in the nearby town of Cave Spring. Louie Sams stepped outside his home to see why his dog was barking. At that moment, he watched as a massive tree fell across Padlock Mountain Road, taking down power lines with it.

"I saw just a fireball happen. It was just like a fireball in the air," said Sams.

Sams' neighbor Charlie Conner told CBS Atlanta News that the winds roared for just a few seconds before knocking down trees.

"I was watching it. My kid was in the closet. He volunteered real quick, when he heard it coming," said Conner. "We've got trees down in my yard. My neighbor he's got trees on his house. My lights are blown off."

Throughout Floyd County, power crews scrambled to get things back up and running again. In cases where the power lines were ripped off of houses, it could be several days before power can be restored, authorities said.

Patel told CBS Atlanta News he will rebuild his store.

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