Strong winds damage homes in Rock Valley on Independence Day

Local News

ROCK VALLEY, IOWA (KELO) — Just two days after a fire ripped through a senior living center in Rock Valley, locals are now picking up the pieces after an early morning storm.

Strong winds tore one home apart this morning before 3 a.m., damaged several more and downed trees in a west side neighborhood.

It’s not the Fourth of July many had planned in Rock Valley but early this morning, Mother Nature put on its own show.

“We come over here and we found a house that was pretty well destroyed. And it was one of our own fireman in town. It hits home,” Eshuis said.

Fire Chief Brent Eshuis says experts are still investigating what happened but early reports are that 80-mile-an-hour winds are to blame.

“The house is pretty well destroyed. The ceiling came down. The roof is twisted. The bedroom where he was in, the ceiling didn’t come down. So it was very fortunate,” Eshuis said.

Rachel Boogerd’s family lives here. She went outside this morning after hearing a loud crack.

“There’s a transformer on fire out to the backyard and then we come to the front and see a huge tree branch down here and turn and look at our garage. A huge hunk of roof from across the backyard flew and hit into our garage,” Boogerd said.

Boogerd is thankful no one was hurt.

“Up in the tree is a lawn chair and stuck in a branch is some shingles. It’s amazing what we’re finding,” Boogerd said.

The damage hits just as Rock Valley is cleaning up from a massive fire on Tuesday at a senior living center.

“It’s been one of the worst weeks that we can remember. With the assisted living fire on Tuesday and with the wind damage this morning, it’s been a trying time,” Eshuis said.

Many people in Rock Valley gave up their holiday plans to help the homeowners clean up the damage.

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