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Damage from severe storm shuts down Colorado Mills mall in Lakewood

LAKEWOOD, Colo. -- A severe storm that moved through the Denver metro area on Monday afternoon forced the Colorado Mills mall in Lakewood to close.

The shopping center had so much damage, it will not reopen until May 15 at 10 a.m. according to its website.

Repair crews were busy Tuesday after the mall suffered substantial damage after being pounded by golf ball-size hail and heavy rain.

The mall had to be evacuated.

RELATED: Storm photos

People inside the mall said they could hear the hail outside when it started to come down. Then the roof started to leak and parts of it collapsed.

The ceiling of the movie theater started to come down as well as most of the mall quickly flooded.

Many of the stores' employees and customers were evacuated only to find their vehicles heavily damaged from the storm, including smashed windows.

“So when the ceiling started collapsing, we came outside, locked the store, the whole mall inside is flooding, then came out to this," a woman said. "Now I don't have a car. What am I going to do?

"At first, it was kind of the rain is coming in, we want to save the phones," an employee said. "Then it was, 'Is the whole mall going to collapse?'"

The Lakewood Police Department said the building is structurally sound but there is substantial damage. No one was injured.

The company that owns the mall said it is still assessing the damage and working to ensure the building is safe.

It will evaluate the extent of repairs that are needed so retailers can get back to business as soon as possible.

Colorado Mills was not the only mall to suffer damage. The Greeley Mall suffered damage after water poured in from the roof and debris fell.