Many businesses on the west side of Washington were heavily damaged after a tornado swept through the area Sunday afternoon around 3:30.
Crackers Powersports, 400 W. National Highway, sustained severe damage to its entire building. The entire rear wall of the building collapsed, as well as the west-side of the building that housed a bass tournament fishing boat. The only thing keeping the rear portion of the structure from collapsing appears to be a column comprised of cinder blocks.
Mike Stainbrook, who lives near the business, said he came over to help employees anyway he could. “I didn’t know anyone here until last night,” said Stainbrook. “But I thought I’d come over and see if I could help.”
An employee of the business said that about 90 percent of the bikes, both motorcycles and mopeds, were removed from the building with little damage. An employee said most of the bikes will be able to be repaired and that they will try to salvage as many of the materials and other items in the building as they can.
Currently, parts and debris lay scattered on the garage floor. “It’s sad. It’s kind of like a part of me is gone. This was one job I was always happy to come to,” said the employee.
To keep looters from stealing merchandise from the showroom and the garage area, Stainbrook said he and the employee walked around the business all night with flashlights.
“We had to call the cops on some of them. We heard later on that the police were able to catch some looters near the Family Dollar,” said Stainbrook.
Reid’s Deli, 808 W. Nat’l Hwy., also sustained major damage and had trouble with people stealing items from the business. Marianne Harner, owner of Reid’s, said that hams and other food items were taken. The Reid’s building was severely damaged near its entrance and their coolers, located on the northeast side, were picked up and transplanted into the Washington Radio Center building. Some of the Radio Center’s exterior bricks cracked causing a portion of the exterior wall to collapse.