Storm rips massive bolted air conditioners off roof

One of the tenants of a Waterloo building said it's lucky no one was seriously hurt when the violent wind from Saturday's powerful storm ripped two large industrial air conditioning units from the roof, sending one plumetting to the ground.
The wind from Saturday's storm tore this air conditioning unit from the roof of the 607 King Street West building and sent it plumetting to the ground. (Shawn Morgan/Twitter)

One of the tenants of a Kitchener building said it's lucky no one was seriously hurt when the violent wind from Saturday's powerful storm ripped two large industrial air conditioning units from the roof, sending one plummeting to the ground.

"Fortunately it wasn't during the day when the building was really occupied," said J. Douglas Hoyes, of the bankruptcy firm Hoyes, Michalos and Associates. "It could have been catastrophic."

Around midnight Saturday, during the downburst which included 100 km/h wind gusts, Hoyes said their two-storey building  at 607 King Street West got smacked with a "chunk of wind."

He said the wind ripped of the tar and other material from the roof, causing water damage when the rain poured through. But the wind also knocked loose two of the industrial air conditioning units bolted to the roof.

"Two of them just got ripped right off. One of them ended up on King Street apparently," Hoyes said.

"You would think even if they weren't bolted down, they weigh seven to nine hundred pounds. They shouldn't be going anywhere.

"But that's how strong the wind was. It just picked it up and deposited it...a few hundred yards away on King Street."

He said the one air conditioning unit shredded the roof as it bounced along it.

Some buildings nearby were also damaged by the storm, including one city building that had half its back wall ripped off.