GREENVILLE, TEXAS - The National Weather Service says straight line winds of 85 miles an hour caused the major damage to the Greenville-area during Wednesday night’s storms.
Several businesses, homes, and churches had major property damage.
Power lines and trees were downed, roofs were ripped off buildings, and some are still without power Thursday.
Redeemer Lutheran Church in Greenville had its roof ripped off the fellowship hall during the storm, but church officials say it’s a blessing no one was inside at the time.
Roofing crews dragged out piles and piles of soaking wet insulation and debris from the church one day after the storm.
“It’s totally gone now. The whole roofing and the roofing in the sanctuary,” Pastor Debra Leone said.
Church leaders say they typically have choir practice at the church Wednesday nights, but everyone was at an event at a different church when the storm rolled through.
“I thanked everybody and God’s blessings to us because no one was hurt, no one was here, which normally there would’ve been people here,” Leone added. “But because of vacation bible school, and us serving the meal, all the people were in place. All the people came out and helped us clean up.”
A group of about 40 volunteers rushed to move what they could from the fellowship hall to storage before it started storming again late Wednesday night.
“The drop ceiling was still - most of it - intact, but after the rain, the rest of it fell,” Emily Colgan said.
In downtown Greenville, some streets are still closed, roofs were torn off, and power lines are hanging.
Several businesses were damaged and don’t have power.
“It took quite a bit off the roof up here, and the front of the building, as you can see, and one of the air conditioning units was missing,” said Karalu Pope, with Crawford Smith Inc. “The back is where most of the damage is, it took the top off the back. There’s just no roof back there.”
But despite the damage, business owners are staying positive as they think about what could have been.
“Really could’ve been a lot worse. I know that it looks horrible on the pictures and stuff, but no one’s hurt and that’s really a miracle,” said Christi Tredway, with Armstrong Appliance. “Downtown Greenville’s been here a long time. We’re going to survive.”
Despite the damage here to Redeemer Lutheran Church, the pastor says the sanctuary just has some roof damage.
They still plan to have services there Sunday morning.