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Wednesday, 12 August 2020 17:25

Iowa Auto Body Shop Hit Hard by Dorecho

Written by Janet Chaney
An Iowa body shop was damaged Aug. 9 by a derecho that blew through the Midwest. An Iowa body shop was damaged Aug. 9 by a derecho that blew through the Midwest. Submitted photo

Index

Waln Collision Repair, a family-owned collision business in the idyllic community of Fairfax, IA, was slammed by a dorecho that barreled through the Midwest on Aug. 9.

The straight-line wind storm hit Fairfax and nearby Cedar Rapids around 12:30 p.m.

The shop is a well-known fixture in the community, and always staying busy. Due to two recent hail storms, the shop was at capacity. The place was humming. Every stall was full, body and refinish techs were busy, Smart Express was completing scans and calibrations and PDR was performing smaller paintless dent repairs.

Then the noise started. The wind started to become violent. Everyone got into one paint booth and huddled together, as the dorecho blew 100 mph winds for 30 minutes.

 

When they felt safe to come out of the building, they found a surreal landscape. The paint stacks were gone---they still can’t find them. A wooden building behind the shop exploded and 2-by-4s had been driven through the metal walls like missiles. One wall was partially caved in. Amazingly, the fury of this storm did not destroy the entire shop.


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