West Point Motel extensively damaged

Published 4:46 pm Sunday, March 26, 2023

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WEST POINT — The West Point Motel was extensively damaged by Sunday morning’s tornado, but motel owner Danny Patel, wife Amrika and nine-year-old daughter Saina were not injured. All were in the office area when the tornado cut a path across Highway 29 early in the morning. There were some guests staying at the motel at the time, and they were not hurt. Several vehicles in the parking lot were damaged. A large pine tree fell on the rooms on the north side of the motel, and the building received extensive roof damage.

Some homes directly across Highway 29 were completely destroyed, as was Bethel Baptist Church, a long-time center for community and spiritual life North West Point.

The zone of destruction begins just past the former sites of Runaround Sue’s and Smitty’s Cycles to an abandoned Junior Food Store. Many large pines were broken in two as if they were matchsticks and large oaks were left with only their trunks and a few large limbs. Shingles, broken pieces of wood and furniture from who knows where litter many yards. A number of power poles are either broken in two or listing at 45-degree angles.

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Crews from Diverse Power and the City of West Point were out along the portion of Highway 29 north of the CSX railroad crossing to the Georgia side entrance to West Point Dam. It will likely take some time to have the power restored, but of those whose lives were turned upside down in a few seconds by Sunday’s storms, their sense of normalcy may be a long time in returning, if ever.