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Strong Winds Down Trees, Cause Damage In Murfreesboro

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Posted at 4:15 PM, Jun 24, 2015
and last updated 2015-07-09 01:26:22-04

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Strong winds and heavy rain downed trees and caused damage as storms moved through Rutherford County late Tuesday night. 

Tuesday night, a storm moved through Murfreesboro causing damage to the Imperial Inn on Northwest Broad Street.

Several units responded to the scene before 9 p.m. and went door to door removing hotel guests from their rooms. Dozens of guests had to be evacuated.

PHOTOS: Strong Winds Down Trees, Cause Damage In Murfreesboro

When crews arrived on scene, they found the center portion of the hotel's roof had been blow off by strong winds. Fire crews estimated the winds were at least 60 miles an hour at the time of the storm.

Murfreesboro's bus service came to take the guests to a new location. The American Red Cross also arrived on scene to help with those alternative accommodations.

Around 30 to 40 long term guests were sent to New Vision Baptist Church.

Jay Patel, the motel’s general manager, said he first thought it was a tornado.

“All of the sudden, we saw big swirls of rain and big heavy wind. All of a sudden we saw the roof just flying away and water started coming everywhere,” Patel said.

No one was injured during the incident. 

The city's Building and Codes Department was also contacted to assess the damage of the building. Managers believe the hotel could be closed for at least a month.  

Additional storm damage was reported elsewhere across the city. The Salvation Army building on Front Street had a portion of its roof ripped off, along with damage to the front of the store.

Officials on the scene confirmed everything inside the store will have to be thrown out, resulting in up to $50,000 in losses. If you would like to help or make a donation, visit the Salvation Army's website.

Debris was also seen scattered along the public square. It was unknown at this point from where the debris originated. 

At least a half a dozen trees were knocked down due to high winds. A parked car was crushed by a falling tree in the area of Walton and January Streets.

Emergency crews were also called to the Furniture Merchandise Outlet on Broad Street to clean up glass and water damage. Officials said the front windows of the store were blown out due to a build up of water on the roof.

The owner of the store estimated that the damaged furniture was valued at $30,000. The store will be open for business.