Rowan County - A microburst, not a tornado, caused extensive damage to a building in southern Rowan County, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service said Tuesday.

Meteorologist Vince DiCarlo spent early Tuesday surveying the damage that happened around 6 p.m. Monday along Goodnight Road and Highway 29 in the China Grove area.

The microburst, a localized column of air that sinks and produces damaging straight-line winds, ripped the roof off a business complex, causing portions of the walls to collapse.

"What happened is the roof came off the top of the building and went right over the trees," DiCarlo said. "Several trees were destroyed."

The Grove Supply Company sustained the most damage from the microburst. Crews spent the entire day trying to clean up the destruction the microburst left behind.

Employees, like Alby Stamey, said they have to work quickly because more storms could be on the way.

"I've got to find something soon because my stuff is sitting in there and is real vulnerable to the weather, so I've got to get it out of there. It'll take me a lot of trips," he said.

Neighboring businesses were also harmed. The roof peeled back and the windows shattered at one store. Employees there stacked tar paper, plastic and tires on the roof to cover the holes Tuesday.

Stamey said the amount of damage is shocking.

"You see this on TV happening to everybody else, but you don't think it will happen to you. It's pretty sickening, but we'll survive. Life goes on," he said.

Insurance adjusters were also at the scene most of the day evaluating and summing up the cost of repairs for all the damage.