Onawa Wind Storm Caught on Camera

(ONAWA, IA) Strong winds blew through small towns in Northwest Iowa last night. They were so powerful in Onawa, the roof of the Chevy dealership was torn off.

Some folks think it was a low level tornado. meteorologists say a microburst is to blame.
You can see for yourself because one man caught the entire storm on his security cameras.

"It was like an oh my god situation," says James Davis.

That was Davis's reaction to what he saw when he stepped out his front door Wednesday night.

"I was just sitting at my computer just working on a few things that I normally do and then all of a sudden the wind really whipped up and I heard a large big bang and then a smaller bang," says Davis.

The gust of wind lasted just a few seconds but the damage was extensive this is video from two separate security cameras on his house.

"I almost forgot the thing was running at the time, makes it look like there was a small rotation maybe, I don't know," says Davis.

Microbursts are columns of air that drop from a thunderstorm - when one hits the ground, the wind gusts rapidly outwards.

It can cause just as much damage as a tornado, but only lasts a short amount of time.
Businesses in the downtown area took a beating too, with several windows smashed in and roofs torn off.

Quite possibly the worst damage was seen at the Chevrolet dealership in town. Two of the cars were put out Wednesday and were completely totaled and crushed by the overhang that fell of the building.

"It's really truly amazing how something like that could come straight off something like that and we later found that the back door had been blown in and we think that air just came straight through. It had to be a twister of some kind. They say it was just high winds but I can't imagine high winds just hitting a couple of spots," says Steve Gossage, the owner of the building.

The town began cleaning up Thursday, Gossage says he plans on getting a new awning for the building soon.

"We'll button it up with plastic and then start getting estimates on getting it fixes. Insurance guys know, so it's a wait and see now," he says.

The Onawa Police Department says no one was hurt. The emergency management department is still assessing the total damage.