SEMMES, Ala. (WKRG) — New Year’s Eve is going a bit differently for the director of operations of Loblolly Farms in Semmes.
Severe weather and heavy winds from Friday’s storm caused the roof of one barn at the farm to end up on the ground.
Director of Operations Gary Smith says he and his crew went to lunch Friday around noon. When he returned, he found lots of debris and a roof weighing about a ton on the ground.
He says he saw this coming.
“We knew that it was coming. One of our employees left to try to go home and beat the storm,” said Smith. “And we went to lunch and sat at lunch and watched it blowing sideways. Came back from lunch to discover all of this that you see and all the debris.”
Aside from the roof on the ground, there was minimal damage to other barn roofs and a lot of wood spread throughout the area.
Smith says the storm affected mainly one building, so business can continue as usual. Loblolly Farms is a popular area for people to hold events like weddings and parties.
“Our damages [are] isolated to a point, so our two largest venue sites are still open and available,” said Smith. “If anybody wanted to have a New Year’s Eve party, we could accommodate that really easily tonight. So this damage didn’t affect the entirety of the farm, which is 60 acres with four major event venue sites. Only one of those venue sites is even affected.”
Smith says he’s already started the repair process, as crews were out there picking up debris from the ground. He’s already contacted his insurance company, so it’ll take a bit of time before everything is cleaned up.
“It was a storage barn, and we’ve already had to rebuild it once so it’s easy to go back and do it again,” said Smith. “It’s just gonna take a little time to get it all cleaned up and get it put back together.”
Smith says he’s most grateful that no one was at the farm during the damage, so no one was hurt.