Cleanup underway, future murky after tornado rips roof off Cape Cod hotel

YARMOUTH, MASS. (WHDH) - YARMOUTH, MASS. (WHDH) – Guests at a popular Yarmouth hotel are being housed elsewhere after a powerful tornado packing 110-plus mph winds tore off the building’s roof as it lashed parts of Cape Cod on Tuesday.

Bobby Kahn, the owner of the Cape Sands Inn, says the future of his hotel is unclear due to the serious destruction caused by the EF-1 tornado.

Cleanup efforts kicked into full gear Wednesday as building and health inspectors examined the structure. Insurance adjusters were tallying up the damages.

Megan McGuire, who was staying at the Cape Sands Inn when tornado touched down just after 12 p.m., captured video of parts of the hotel that were totally blown away.

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“My mom and I were just sitting in our rooms,” she said. “Everything darkened, we closed the curtains, we went down between the two beds and put pillows over our heads. For a brief moment, we heard something that sounded like a freight train.”

When everything suddenly lightened, McGuire says she walked outside and noticed that part of the hotel’s roof had been ripped off.

“All of the guardrails on the decks were pushed back toward the building. It was pretty scary,” she added.

McGuire says she has never seen anything so shocking in the 24 years that she’s been vacationing on the Cape.

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“Looking out afterward, my mom and I were like, we just survived a tornado,” she said.

One person captured video of the exact moment the roof was peeled away.

Other guests said the tornado blew through in a matter of seconds, bending a flag pole before clearing out.

One hotel guest told 7NEWS that he watched in shock as the roof was lifted into the air.

“It was like something out of the ‘Wizard of Oz.’ Being from this city, I never saw anything like this,” the guest said. “First time I went through it and I hope I never have to go through it again.”

The tornado ripped the roof to shreds, leaving a massive debris field behind the building.

Tens of thousands of Bay State residents were without power in the area after the storm rolled through.

Kahn admitted he had just dropped $50,000 to replace the roof just nine months ago.

No injuries were reported.

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