Reported by Ben Krumholz, WLUK TV, Green Bay, WI.
Like its name, everything seemed quiet at Quietwoods RV Sales and Service in the Town of Clayton, Wisconsin, until sales manager Rob Kohloff looked out the window.
“I was actually on the phone with a customer and I apologized for having to hang up on that customer but I did see one of our units go past my window at about 20 miles an hour with no truck in front of it,” said Kohloff. “At that point I realized the weather was a little worse than I first thought.”
Taking a walk outside, it was evident the weather was much worse. Some of Kohloff’s workers told him they thought they were watching a tornado.
“(They) Actually saw this unit, which is about 11,000 pounds go straight up in the air, spin and then get slowed back down on the ground, unfortunately hitting another unit,” said Kohloff.
While the damage and firsthand accounts seem like a tornado, National Weather Service officials say the Winnebago County damage was the work of straight-line winds.
“As the wind hits the ground and the surrounding area it can swirl and pick large items up and cause quite a bit of damage as we saw there,” said Jeff Last with the National Weather Service.
“It’s a small setback,” said Kohloff. “We’ve had a great summer, we continue to stay open and conduct business as usual, obviously a little more cleanup.”
For Kohloff, this isn’t his first go-around with severe storms. His Kaukauna home narrowly escaped damage from a tornado that tore through that city earlier this year.
“I experienced pretty much the same thing, I was in the same area that was hit and what was going through my mind was what have I done this year,” said Kohloff. “I kind of feel there is a target on me.”
Luckily for Kohloff and his co-workers, the storm only hit the RVs, which are insured. The damage likely could total more than $100,000.
“It’s scary, but nobody was hurt, so that’s the important thing,” said Kohloff.