A television station based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, recently aired footage of a warehouse losing its roof in a storm. The video, taken by the young business owner who was renting the warehouse, shows high winds stripping off the roof of the building, and then carrying the roof out toward the street.
Brendan McCormick, age 23, is the owner of McCormick Painting Services in Marion, Iowa. He had recently moved his company into that warehouse. He happened to return to his shop for supplies, when a derecho – a fast-moving band of thunderstorms with destructive winds – blew right at him.
Like a giant hand peeling the lid from a can of sardines, the derecho pulled the warehouse roof right off, as McCormick was shooting video on his cell phone.
This storm was in late August of 2020, at the height of tornado season across the great plains. While Greater Cincinnati has had its share of wind-related damage this year, it never hurts to be reminded of how quickly and easily a storm can wreak havoc on structures.
That video from KCRG Channel 9 in Cedar Rapids shows the one part of the warehouse that survived the winds – the bathroom. Thankfully, he acted quickly and took shelter in that bathroom. A truck parked in the warehouse was buried in debris, and all of the supplies for his painting company were strewn across the parking lot.
We should note that most roofs would be able to withstand such winds. Inexpensively assembled, corrugated-metal portable structures are not known for the durability of their walls and roofs. We are relieved that Mr. McCormick was not injured.