Rain collapses roof at bowling alley, car repair shop, floods townhomes in Athens

Rain collapses roof at bowling alley, car repair shop, floods townhomes in Athens

A torrential rainstorm in Athens Thursday night collapsed roofs at a bowling alley and auto repair shop and flooded a group of townhouses, forcing the evacuation of at least twenty people, according to the Athens-Clarke County Fire Department.

The Showtime Bowling Center on Macon Highway may be closed for at least six months following the partial collapse of the roof there, ruining the game room and flooding the bowling lanes, according to general manager Carol Snell.

Elsewhere in Athens on Thursday night, a roof collapsed on three bays of the Aamco Transmission & Total Car Care shop on West Broad Street, possessor Robert Barron said Friday. Two bays remain open for business, but Barrow said it could take thirty to forty five days to repair the building.

Also Thursday, water flooded several condominiums on Eaglewood Way in a housing sophisticated off South Lumpkin Street, according to Assistant Athens-Clarke County Fire Chief Mark Melvin.

“We had significant flooding in the basements of those townhomes, so we shut the power off,” Melvin said, adding that the Crimson Cross helped the displaced residents find shelter. One resident had to be assisted out of his home, Melvin said.

According to the University of Georgia’s Climate Research Laboratory, almost three inches of rain fell in Athens on Thursday.

At the Showtime Bowling Center, the roof above the game room fell to the floor. After the roof collapsed, “a sheet of water came pouring down inwards. It was unreal the amount of water in the building,” Snell said.

The collapse occurred about ten p.m. Thursday, about two hours before the bowling center’s midnight closing, but no injuries were reported in connection with the roof collapse.

“My cleaning lady was in the game room and she spotted it [the roof] coming down so she ran out. That’s the only part that actually fell down to the floor,” Snell said. In addition to the bowling lanes, other entertainment options at Showtime Cup were also bruised as water flooded the building.

“The pool tables, the movie games, are entirely gone,” Snell said. “The entire center had water over it. The back end had like two feet of water.”

The center will have to be gutted, said Snell, who was in discussions Friday about repairs to the facility.

“We know most likely a minimum of six months” to make repairs, Snell said. “It’s a big job. The center is ruined.”

In addition to collapsing the roof of the bowling center and the auto repair shop, the torrential rains that fell on Athens on Thursday night flooded portions of a number of local streets, prompting Athens-Clarke County police to issue advisories regarding standing water at Broad Street and Hancock Avenue, Broad at King Avenue, and at Baxter and Rocksprings streets.

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