Heavy rains, strong winds cause serious damage to businesses

5:31 PM, Jun 18, 2013   |    comments
  • Light pole rests on a few vehicles at 640 Nissan following Sunday's stormy weather.
  • Part of 640 Nissan's roof is torn off following Sunday night's stormy weather.
  • Debris fills 640 Nissan's conference room after roof in torn off following Sunday night's stormy weather.
  • The windown in a Clayton Used Cars' SUV is broken following Sunday night's stormy weather.
  • The roof of the men's restroom at Clayton Used Cars is torn off following Sunday night's stormy weather.
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(WBIR - Knoxville) Heavy rains and high winds rumbled through Knoxville Sunday night, and for some, the damage was costly.

When 640 Nissan workers arrived to work, they found a 25-foot light pole resting on top of a couple of cars. They also found part of the building's roof missing from above the company's conference room and restrooms. The early estimate of damage is about $500,000.

General Manager Jed Darby said, "My cleaning crew got here around six o'clock this morning and called me in a panic and said, 'You're not going to believe what happened, but I think a tornado hit the area'. I knew it was bad. Usually a phone call that early in the morning is not a good call."

Sales Manager Josh Elswick said, "I never thought I'd witness this in person."

Also found in the parking lot of 640 Nissan was part of the roof from neighboring Clayton Used Cars.

Lori Masters with Clayton Used Cars said, "I came in this morning to see all of this. I wasn't really expecting it. It was like happy Monday morning."

Several vehicles at Clayton Used Cars are filled with deep scratches and an SUV has a broken window. Also, the roof above the dealership's men's restroom has been torn off.

"I was really surprised. I live out in Heiskell and it really wasn't that bad out there. We just got a little bit of rain, a little bit of storm-type weather, but nothing real bad," Masters said.

640 Nissan workers also said they didn't think the weather was strong enough to cause such significant damage.

Darby said the storm damage could result in savings for customers.

"A little dent and scratch tornado sale. We're going to be making some good deals for a while," Darby said.

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