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'Oh No, Look At That!' Cameraman Captures Collapse Of Building In Weekend Winds

Wind knocks down building
Ed Braz

Strong wind gusts whipped across central North Carolina over the weekend.  National Weather Service Forecaster Mike Strickler says straight wind gusts in Wake and Johnston Counties reached 100-plus miles per hour.

Raleigh Durham International Airport recorded its fastest wind gusts ever. 

A residential building under construction was blown apart. Videographer Ed Braz captured this remarkable footage of the collapse:

Ed Braz wrote on his website that he didn't know that the severe weather was coming:

Today was just like most Saturdays - slow and comfortable. Outside the weather was gray - overcast and not too cold. The relative calm was pierced by an Emergency Alert (see more later) at about 2pm. I looked at the phone which was locked and saw a message briefly not registering the details. I tried to unlock the phone and the message disappeared. Bad design, I thought. I now had to look for the alert somewhere in the innards of that technology beast. As I was fiddling, I looked outside and saw the bushes straining at an unnatural angle due to the winds. Took my phone/camera to document this unusual weather phenomenon and was some-what concerned about how my building would hold up. Turned on the video recording, placed the phone up against the glass pane and felt the vibration caused by the high-speed winds. As I was commenting to myself in a half-tone about the scary nature of what I was seeing and feeling, I got a lot more than I could expect. Within a few seconds the wind gusted and the structure a mere 30 yards (roughly 30m) came crashing down turning the building into heap of wooden beams and compressed sheeting.

More Than Building Damage

In Raleigh, a woman died after being injured by a fallen tree branch over the weekend. A strong wind gust broke the branch, which landed on Cheryl Harrison and her family.

Forecaster Mike Strickler says several cold fronts will pass through the region in the next week, and they might bring some light snow to the area.

Rebecca Martinez produces podcasts at WUNC. She’s been at the station since 2013, when she produced Morning Edition and reported for newscasts and radio features. Rebecca also serves on WUNC’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accountability (IDEA) Committee.
Carol Jackson has been with WUNC since 2006. As Digital News Editor, she writes stories for, and helps reporters and hosts make digital versions of their radio stories. She is also responsible for sharing stories on social media. Previously, Carol spent eight years with WUNC's nationally syndicated show The Story with Dick Gordon, serving as Managing Editor and Interim Senior Producer.
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