Man Survives Severe Storm in Burbank - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Man Survives Severe Storm in Burbank

BURBANK, Wash. - A Burbank man survives Friday's severe thunderstorm, after 90 mile-an-hour winds destroyed the family farm warehouse, with him inside.

Although the National Weather Service warned people well in advance of the storm some people found themselves caught in severe winds and rain.

For Philip Mehlenbacher, he just wanted a safe place to escape. Mehlenbacher was working on the farm as rain rapidly began to pour down. He decided to seek shelter in the storage warehouse.

"I was standing underneath this beam and all I could hear and see was the walls shaking, and lights flickering on and off," said Philip Mehlenbacher.   

Mehlenbacher thought the warehouse would have been the safest place to be, until the storm quit and he opened the door.

He saw the damage left from winds as strong as a tornado that destroyed nearly everything in the warehouse except where Mehlenbacher sought refuge.

The National Weather Service told him and his uncle Alan, who owns the farm, a 90 mile an hour wind downburst formed at the warehouse then took a punch out of a nearby grain mill, flattened 200 acres of trees, it flipped over an irrigation circle, it turned over semi-truck trailer, and violent rain and runoff carved a canyon in Alan's corn field almost six feet deep and a quarter of a mile long. Right now Alan has no idea how much the damage will cost.

"It's gonna take a lot of effort to get this gathered and get it on trucks and hauled out of here," said Alan Mehlenbacher. 

And Philip Mehlenbacher said he's grateful he's alive and said he now has a new appreiciation for the hurricane victims he's seen on the news.

"I had no concept in my own mind of what damage can be done by natural weather. I just feel really bad for people who've had worse times than we've had," said Philip Mehlenbacher.  

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