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Auto body repair shop build nearing completion

Tornado ravaged business getting lots of help in reconstruction

The new Sturbridge Auto Body building is under construction and should be ready to go by the spring. The previous building was destroyed by the June 1 tornado. Kevin Flanders. (click for larger version)
December 05, 2011
STURBRIDGE — Significant progress has been made in the construction of a new Sturbridge Auto Body building on Route 131, and owner Mark Manthorne is hoping his business will be up and running again in a few months.

The previous building was heavily damaged by the June 1 tornado — as was one of Manthorne's tow trucks — costing the business thousands of dollars in lost work opportunities over the last six months. Manthorne saw the massive EF3 twister approaching his building on the afternoon of June 1, and less than a minute later the building was torn apart.

"I was able to get the three guys who were working with me inside, and we were underneath the bays when it hit the building," Manthorne said. "We could barely even shut the door to get inside because the wind was so heavy. Then everything happened so quickly. The walls were blown out and the roof was lifted up. I spent a lot of money on different repairs to get the truck working again, but the building couldn't be fixed."

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

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