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Red Wing Storm Victims Pick Up The Pieces After Losing Roof

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(credit: CBS) Bill Hudson
Bill Hudson has been with WCCO-TV since 1989. The native of Elk Rive...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Thursday’s violent storms in Red Wing, Minn. were over in just a blink of an eye, but the damage was lasting.

Scattered yellow insulation covered the trees and corn stubble in the southwestern Minnesota town.

“It just happened so fast,” Sally Lemmerhirt of Red Wing, Minn. said.

All of the fiberglass insulation blowing across the rural landscape came from Lemmerhirt’s home outside of Red Wing.

“We lost everything in the house, all of our memories are gone,” Lemmerhirt said.

Seventeen years ago the Lemmerhirts built the rambler on the bluffs southwest of town. Now, they have little choice but to build once again. The strong winds ripped the roof completely off, exposing their belongings to pounding rain.

Sally recalls coming home from work shortly after 4 p.m. on Thursday afternoon.

It wasn’t long before she noticed a strange sight blowing across their back yard.

“All of a sudden the wind picked up and I saw a canoe go through the air and I was like I’d better get downstairs,” Lemmerhirt said.

They were heading for the basement when the entire roof was blown to bits.

Pieces of roof trusses, plywood and shingles not caught by a tree, are now scattered across a farmer’s corn field.

Pounding rain poured into the home, ruining what the wind didn’t.

“We just opened the garage door and it was like, where did it go,” Lemmerhirt said.

Strangely, their two vehicles weren’t even scratched by flying debris despite from a garage roof that is nowhere to be found.

But they are even more grateful that none of them was injured.

Fortunately, Randy Lemmerhirt said, their home is insured and the adjustor has already been out for an inspection of the damage.

They find some solace knowing that lost or damaged property can be replaced.

“What do you do? Mother Nature took its course and thank God everybody is okay. Like I say, we’ll have to rebuild the house,” Randy Lemmerhirt said.

Randy and Sally say they’ve been getting lots of help from family and friends.

They had planned on heading up north this weekend. Instead, they’ll stay home and pick through the corn fields across the street retrieving belongings and debris.

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