One person called it a “Dust Devil on steroids.”
Emergency officials called it a “major wind event.”
Whatever it was, everybody was breathing a huge sigh of relief after part of the roof of Barranca Elementary School gym was blown away about 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.
The wind event scattered insulation and other roofing material throughout the school grounds, including the school parking lot.
No one was injured during the incident, which witnesses said lasted about two minutes. Most students had already departed the campus since Wednesday was a half day at the school.
LAFD Battalion Chief Paul Grano said at the scene that there were three minor medical needs.
"Some of the victims got dust in their eyes," Grano said.
Barranca Mesa Elementary School Principal Pam Miller recounted the brief but violent windstorm.
“It was like a mini tornado,” Miller said. “We were in the gym having lunch when we heard something like a train going by. You could hear the roof peeling off.”
It was then that Miller and others went in to gather the other children playing outside and bring them indoors but by that time the wind had stopped.