WATCH: Strong winds blow away roof and destroy windows in downtown Elba

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ELBA, Ala. (WDHN) — The City of Elba is suffering from storm damage after strong winds tore through the downtown square.

Exclusive security camera footage shows the moment when strong gusts of wind propelled the roof of Williams Auto Parts into the sky and sent parts of the roof into the trees and alleyway behind the building.

Blocks away, the same gusts caused the front windows of Lawford Hardware to blow out, sending glass onto the sidewalks and into the store. Betty Lawford was working inside the store when the wind started.

“All of a sudden the door just came flying open, the glass door,” Lawford said. “I went to the door and tried to close it. It was so forceful and powerful you couldn’t close it.”

As she struggled to close the door, merchandise began flying off the shelves.

“The wind just was crazy,” Lawford said.

Moments later the windows shattered.

“We got the tail end of something that just sucked that roof up,” Wayne Lawford said. “It took the window out. I don’t know how in the world that would have done what it did.”

Once the storm passed, linemen crews positioned themselves on Court Avenue to assess the damage.

Reports said crew members could still be seen around 5 o’clock Wednesday evening as they worked to repair the roof of the auto parts store.

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