Severe Storms Rip Through Opelika Tuesday, Damaging Businesses

Goo Goo Self Car Wash on Marvyn Parkway was one of several businesses hit by the storm Tuesday night.

“We don’t have anyone hurt. We didn’t have anything but stuff torn up and we can replace stuff,” said Construction Manager for Goo Goo Car Wash, Randy Cain.

High winds and severe thunderstorms tore through their roof and sent debris flying across the road.

“I was amazed that it flew all the way over there, but didn’t hit a car,” said Cain.

The National Weather Service came out to determine if a tornado hit our area. But, said there wasn’t enough evidence to prove one touched down.

“An indicator for a tornado would be to uplift it, so this looks like straight wind damage,” said Kevin Laws, Science and Operations Officer for the National Weather Service.

Laws said wind speeds got up to 60-70 mph, destroying a five business warehouse on Williamson Ave. with more than 150 people inside.

“It hit here obviously, blew the wall inside the middle of the building and continued out and blew the other side out,” said Clint Hurst, Business Manager for Williams & LLC Company.

A concrete wall separated different parts of the warehouse. That wall completely crumbled down.

“Not long ago we had a company, fork lifting right there. So, thank God they aren’t there anymore,” said Hurst.

No one inside at the time was hurt, but Laws said no matter what kind of weather blows through, it’s always important to stay alert.

“Alabama weather is tricky and everything and anything will happen especially this time of year. Tornado season is between November and May, so we always need to be weather aware and have our people know whats going on around them,” said Laws.

Along with those two businesses seeing some damage, people in Opelika also reported trees down, power outages and even a traffic light fell. There were a few minor injuries, but nothing too serious. One person was transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

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