A small tornado, or very strong wind burst, touched down in the RV lot at Speedway Chevrolet in Monroe around 10:30 a.m. Thursday, March 30, tipping over two trailers. No one was injured, but employees were left shaken.
Speedway service advisor Stacie Beltran said she saw “a gray whirlwind. It was just rain and branches. It was just kind of smoky,” pointing to some fog on a hill visible from the RV center's main office window. “It was just branches everywhere.”
Beltran stood at the front counter with other staff when the weather turned nasty. Surveillance video shows a relatively calm rain quickly become a burst of wind, a distinct swirling funnel moving through the lot.
Lot attendant Noah Kimball was inside a trailer when he heard what sounded like a “train coming through five feet away.” The structure rattled and swayed, but didn't tip. Video footage showed his quick sprint across the lot and into the main office.
“I was out of there,” he said.
The two trailers that were knocked over weighed 1.5 tons and 3.5 tons.
RV manager James Harvey said all property is covered by insurance, adding he didn't think an event like this was possible in the area. He has seen bad winds before, but nothing like this.
“The wind was so loud it was like a roar,” he said. “We were all just shocked. The windows were rattling. We got everyone away from the windows. Then we went outside and saw the destruction.”
Since it was weather-related on private property, the Monroe Police Department will not be investigating the incident, said department administrative director Debbie Willis.