Last night while we were driving to the RM auction on the 101 loop in Phoenix, Arizona, traffic came to a sudden stop. Literally, a complete halt. We turned on the radio hoping to find out the reason for the delay, assuming a big rig had been blown over or a multiple car pileup had been caused by the rain. We finally found a local news station, only to hear that a tent had blown onto the freeway. While the people on the radio didn't know any details, we instantly knew what must have happened.
Full details came in just a little bit later. High winds had collapsed two of the tents covering the cars at the nearby Russo and Steele auction, with one of them blowing onto the freeway. Fortunately, there were no deaths and only one reported minor injury, but plenty of gorgeous classic cars were damaged in the process. Right now no one seems to really know the extent of the damage since the local fire department isn't allowing access to the area for safety reasons, but we'll be sure to let you know about any updates we hear.
We've included two official statements from Russo and Steele as well as a two videos after the jump. The first is an outside view of one of the tents as it collapses onto the cars, and the second is video recorded during the auction when the announcement is made to evacuate the tents (jump ahead to 21 minutes). Be aware that there is some NSFW language in the second video. Thanks to everyone for the tips!
[Source: Russo and Steele, YouTube, Auto-Focus.us]
OFFICIAL STATEMENTS FROM RUSSO AND STEELE
Scottsdale update, Friday, January 22 11:30 a.m.
The City of Scottdsale Fire Marshall will not declare the auction site safe today due to continued storm activity in the area. This means no access for car owners. The earliest time the consignors might be able to inspect their cars is tomorrow morning, according to the Fire Marshall. We will be posting updated information as it becomes available.
Scottsdale Update Friday, January 22 8:30 a.m.
You may have heard that an intense winter storm roared through Arizona, causing damage at the Russo and Steele auction site in Scottsdale last night. Two large canopies covering many of the cars were blown down during severe wind gusts. Thankfully no one sustained any major injuries. Our team spent the night on site waiting for the City of Scottsdale Fire Department to allow us back in. We are still waiting for that access. Safety is the priority. Once the site is secured and safe, the car owners will be given access. We are being told that the earliest that may be will be this afternoon. We are optimistic about continuing the auction this weekend. We thank you for your continued support during these difficult times.