Strong wind blows roof off Red Wing home - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Strong wind blows roof off Red Wing home

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RED WING, Minn. (KTTC) -- A Red Wing family is without their home after strong winds blew the roof off their house Thursday afternoon.  No one in the home was injured.

It happened just after 4 p.m. on the 62000 block of County 5 Boulevard in Red Wing.  Homeowner Randy Lemmerhirt was at home with four other family members.  Lemmerhirt said he sent his family to the basement when the storm started to intensify.

"I was sitting at the kitchen table. At about 4-4:30 it started to hail a little bit. Then all of a sudden the wind started to pick up a little bit. A canoe flew across the backyard," said Lemmerhirt.  "Then I looked out the window and saw the roof fly by and I took off down stairs. About five minutes later everything died down and I came up and, there's the mess, that fast.”

Debris from the roof was spread about a mile north of the house into the Lemmerhirt's farmland.  A large section of the roof stretched across the front yard and into a tree. The Goodhue County Sheriff was one of the first to arrive after the storm.  Family and friends of Lemmerhirt and his wife, Sally, arrived a short time later to help clear the street of the wreckage and pack the family's possessions for storage. 

"This is when you find out who your friends really are," said Lemmerhirt.

Lemmerhirt said he plans to rebuild the house.  His mother built the basement into the side of the hill on County 5 Boulevard in the 1970s.  After her death, Randy finished the home with a ground level floor in the 1990s and has lived there with his family since.  For now, the family will stay with other family members who live next door.

The family said they're concerned overnight storms could flood the home or cause the remaining overhead structure to collapse into the home.  The cost of the damage has yet to be determined.

On Friday, Lemmerhirt will be clearing his field of nails, wood, and other debris.  He plans on plowing his fields and allowing his cows to roam on the farmland as soon as the fragments from his home are removed.

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