Tuesday's storm rips roof off ETX motel - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

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Tuesday's storm rips roof off ETX motel

PITTSBURG, TX (KLTV) - The severe storms that blew through East Texas Tuesday night destroyed trees, downed power lines, and did serious damage to several homes and businesses.

Perhaps the most obvious site of destruction was the Budget Inn on Highway 271 in Pittsburg.

High winds blew the roof off of the building, and left the Budget Inn in pieces.

A witness said that heavy rain and wind blew out of nowhere, almost without warning.

"One guy was in his room, and he went to look out, and it knocked him up against the wall," said guest Larry Carrol.

Carroll was staying at the Budget Inn with his wife when the storm started. He said they stayed in their room once they realized they were trapped, and listened to what was happening around them.

"We just closed the door basically, and hoped for the best. I did a lot of praying," said Carroll.

Ricky Walker, an employee at the Budget Inn, was on his way back from Dallas when it happened.

He returned home Tuesday night to see the hotel in ruins, his room being one of the worst.

Walker said that it happened because of the way the roof was designed.

"That membrane roof is one big solid piece. And when the wind got underneath it, it just went like a sail, all the way across the roof, and actually rolled, and rolled off to the other side," said Walker.

Clean up crews were on the scene Wednesday, picking up debris and removing soaking wet carpet.

Walker said insurance will cover most of the damage, but it will be months before repairs are complete.

He says it could have been much worse had it not been a Tuesday, a slow night

"We could have had a full house on the weekend, with a holiday coming up; it could have been a real problem. Thank God it worked out the way it did," said Walker.

There were seven people in the motel when it happened, and no injuries were reported.

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