The buildings right across the street and next to the health department are gone. The health department was one of the lucky buildings that sustained little damage comparatively, and when Health Department officials checked their surveillance video from that night, they were shocked at what they saw.
It started out calm, but in a matter of seconds everything changed. The cameras shut off for about five seconds. Officials say this is when the power went out. When the generators came on and the cameras started recording again, the scene was totally different.
Health Department officials say they were amazed at what their surveillance cameras recorded the night of the tornado.
"It was sometime within the first 24 hour period that I was thinking, 'I wonder if our cameras managed to capture that,'" said Interim Public Health Director Sharon Green.
What they captured is incredible. The video shows debris being tossed around and rotated through the air. Signs and pieces of neighboring businesses fly across the screen. A picnic table is thrown with ease.
"You're just kind of awestruck, you know. Just couldn't believe all the damage that occurred in such a short amount of time," said Green.
According to the time stamp on the video, the tornado moved through in about 52 seconds, leaving behind it destruction no one ever expected.
"The filling station was gone, and next to us, you know, to see the budget hotel gone, and the residential area you know to the right of us," said Green.
Officials say the fact that the health department is still standing in the midst of the devastation and the cameras captured all of it is nothing short of a miracle.
"We just feel blessed," said Green.
Health Department officials say the building sustained about $150,000 worth of damage, which they say is a blessing and are just glad it was not any worse.