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Winfield business blown apart in overnight storms

Published: Dec. 30, 2021 at 9:31 AM CST
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WINFIELD, Ala. (WBRC) - People in Winfield AL are thankful no one was seriously hurt after storms blew through the town Wednesday night. But now, in the face of damage and debris, many will have a hard road ahead.

“One thing I learned last night...when you hear the warnings, heed the warnings, because you cannot outrun a tornado,” said Michael Hynds, the owner of Winfield Antique Mall.

Mr. Hynds was a few buildings away from his store when the storm hit.

“I was just outside two minutes before. Came in, heard the warning and went to look at the news when I heard a crash. Then I ran towards the basement and couldn’t get the basement door open.”

He says he thought it was all over. But after a few minutes the worst had passed and Mr. Hynds was uninjured. He made his way out to see the aftermath of the storm and says when he first saw the damage he thought it wasn’t too bad.

“Walked into the first building saw a couple of windows broken out, went to the second building and saw more damage, but when I got to the third building and looked in, I was looking at downtown, And I don’t have any windows in that part of the building so I knew there was a lot of damage. When I went outside I couldn’t believe it.”

An entire side of his store had been blown out. The exterior wall was gone, the roof was ripped apart and dozens and dozens of his antiques had been thrown in all directions.

“Where do I go now?” He said shrugging his shoulders. “It’s an evaluation process. Where do I put all this stuff while they rebuild the building or tear the building down. You know whatever choice is made. This is just the beginning.”

Lots of residents walked by as Mr. Hynds surveyed the damage, including the mayor, all offering words of encouragement and reassurance.

“This was my retirement and I’m very heartbroken,” Mr. Hynds said. “But we’ll survive. It’s a great community. We’ll have help. We’ve got a little bit of insurance, not enough but we’ll make it, It’s not the plan but this is the way it is.

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