Microburst with 80 mph winds rips off roof, collapses building

Posted at 5:58 PM, Jul 09, 2012
and last updated 2012-07-09 23:35:46-04

SPOTSYLVANIA, Va. (WTVR)--The National Weather Service just announced that yesterday’s destruction in Spotsylvania, just south of Fredericksburg was due to a microburst, not a tornado.

The microburst tore through a two-block area just south of with 80 m.p.h westerly winds on Fleming Street between Lafayette Blvd and Route 1.

Several Spotsylvania fire and rescue authorities thought the damage was due to what appeared to be a tornado touched down.

The roof was torn off the gym Cheer Fusion, and the wall collapsed. There were seven injuries, of the 30 people in the building at the time of the microburst.

Cheer Fusion, which Asst. Chief Mark Kuechler with the Spotsylvania Fire Department said was made of mostly concrete blocks collapsed and suffered some of the most significant damage in the area. He said that the building collapsed and the roof was blown off.

 Kuechler said that there was a cheerleading practice hosted inside when the building collapsed and that “miraculously they all made it out.” There were seven non-life threatening injuries. The group had taken shelter in the only room reinforced by steel, and when they opened the door of that room, after the storm passed, they found nothing remaining of the building.

The roof was blown onto a home next door, and that private residence was moved about 10 feet from its foundation, the son of the homeowner told the Free-Lance Star.

A few other buildings in the industrial area had roofing damage. Kuechler told CBS 6 that the most significant damage was on Lafayette Boulevard and Route 1.

The intense burst of wind uprooted and snapped many trees, and homes in the subdivision were damaged by the debris and trees.