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Crews remove Jasper storm debris after strong winds damage businesses

Crews remove storm debris outside Jasper businesses. ((abc3340.com))

Crews are removing storm debris from store parking lots in Jasper and could face lengthy repairs.

Strong winds caused damage to at least three stores in the Parkland Shopping Center on Highway 78 all within a quarter mile.

The red awning at Sears Hometown Store was ripped off the storefront. Crews worked to cover any holes in the roof with plywood, including window damage near the store entrance.

Two workers were inside Papa John's while a portion of the ceiling collapsed in the dining area. Papa John's Area Supervisor Rob Offner says, "We’re just thankful everybody’s safe. We haven’t heard any reports of any injuries in Walker County. They’re home resting. Shooken up a little bit I’m sure but doing fine.”

The ceiling will take two or three days to fix says the area store supervisor. However, he says replacing the sign will take some time.

Jasper Mayor David O'Mary says he's happy there was no residential damage and is most concerned with the weekend's incoming showers.

The mayor says, “My preference is to never have a storm…but if we have to have a storm I’d like to have a small one and certainly that’s the way you could characterize this storm. I lived all my life in Walker and Marion Counties. This turbulent weather is just very common. [I've] come to expect it in winter time, spring time, and summer time....you’re never safe from that. You have to always be prepared.”

Mother Nature also showed her strength outside Dollar General. Wind gusts bent the metal beams holding the outdoor sign.

One store employee says the timeline for repairs to the Sears store will hopefully be completed within the next month or two but not could not offer a surefire guarantee on an exact date.

All three businesses are expected to be open Wednesday.

No injuries were reported.

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