OPELIKA, Ala. — Wednesday morning, the National Weather Service out of Birmingham came down to Opelika to survey the damage from Tuesday night’s weather event.
During their visit, they visited a warehouse along Williamson Avenue, which suffered severe damage including a part of the roof collapsing and a retaining wall being blown out. They also visited Steel Street and the Goo Goo Car Wash on Marvyn Parkway which both suffered roof damage.
The National Weather Service said that their findings were consistent of straight-line winds from 60 to 70 mph. They said that the winds started at the warehouse on Williamson Avenue, continuing to Steel Street, then onto the Goo Goo Car Wash.
“The damage is all being thrown downstream,” NWS Birmingham Chief Scientist Kevin Laws said. “It’s hard to see any upstream damage. In other words, the winds in a tornado will a lot of times reverse themselves so you’ll see damage that’s been thrown backwards along the path in some cases. So far, we’re yet to see a lot of evidence of that. It seems like right now, particularly the building behind me, see how it’s mashed down? The mashing down instead of being uplifted is evidence to straight line winds as opposed to tornadoes.”
The warehouse is home to five companies, which distribute parts to Hyundai and Kia. Clint Hurst, the property manager said that there were more than 100 workers were inside, but nobody was hurt.