Cape Sands Inn Employees Describe Moment Roof Blew Off

WEST YARMOUTH, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — They feared for their lives.

Housekeeper Janice Johnson was in room 217, on the second floor of the Cape Sands Inn in West Yarmouth, as a tornado screamed toward the hotel.

Tornado Rips Roof Off Cape Sands Inn - Thumbnail Image

Tornado Rips Roof Off Cape Sands Inn

One of the managers ran upstairs to tell her to take cover immediately.

"I cleaned the room already, but I went back in there to put some linens," she said. "She said, 'Get down, get down!' so I had to lay down between the two beds."

She hid between the beds, then crawled to the bathroom and huddled in the tub.

"I cried, I shook, I was so frightened," Janice said. "I thought I was going to die. I just asked God to guide me."

The manager, who doesn't want to be identified, crouched down inside the room and held the door shut. She witnessed the roof being lifted right off the building—right above her head.

"We seen that big black cloud coming this way, and all of a sudden, everything just stopped for a second, the flag pole bent like a happy straw, and that was it, it just came," she said. "I just threw her in the room, backed up, grabbed the door, slammed the door shut."

Two Tornadoes Hit Cape Cod, National Weather Service Confirms - Thumbnail Image

Two Tornadoes Hit Cape Cod, National Weather Service Confirms

She described the building shaking in that horrifying moment.

"The roof went up, it was like a giant clap, and everything came down," the manager said. "Loud as loud could be. It was awful ... It almost felt like the building went up and came back down."

The two women miraculously escaped without a scratch, and said the whole thing felt like a dream. The manager said she was more worried about where her guests were than about herself.

"If you watch the video, it's like a tenth of a second from when I shut the door to when the roof took off," the manager said. "If we stayed on that balcony right there, we would've been sucked into the cove."

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WBZ NewsRadio's Kim Tunnicliffe (@KimWBZ) reports

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