Second devastating event hits Rock Valley community in less than one week

ROCK VALLEY, IA - One community in Iowa is trying to pick up the pieces from a storm that rolled through early Thursday morning. A microburst destroyed one home and damaged others in Rock Valley, IA. This is the second event this community has dealt with in the past week. A brand new senior living complex was destroyed by a fire Tuesday morning.

Fire crews had another busy day helping clean up the damage from Thursday morning's storm. Brenda Laman is grateful for her family's safety though. She was at work when the microburst with winds up to 80 miles per hour hit their home while her husband and dog were inside.

"My husband had called me that our house had blown apart. I thought he was just exaggerating a little bit," Laman said.

But she came home and realized he wasn't. The microburst hit about 3:00 AM without any warning. There usually aren't any indications before because it happens when a storm is fizzling out.

"As the storm is weakening, a lot of the air that's suspended by the storm will come crashing down in one location," Todd Heitkamp said, who is the meteorologist in charge with the National Weather Service of Sioux Falls.

He surveyed the damage in Rock Valley.

"When people see something like that, the amount of damage that occurs, they think immediately tornado. And it just shows you the power that wind has," he said. "If it wasn't for the damage to that first house, we probably wouldn't have seen as widespread damage as what we saw with the neighborhood."

The microburst hit the garage on the west side of the home, which caused the roof to shift and caused collateral damage to other homes in the neighborhood. Laman's home is destroyed though.

"It was kind of like surreal. It's like this is really happening. I hope this never happens to anybody because it's not a very nice thing to have happen," she said. "And I wouldn't wish this on anybody."

She's thankful though for the community coming together, especially on the 4th of July.

"Also very grateful for all our firemen here on a holiday came and helped us clear out our house. A lot of memories, but it's stuff. We can build again," she said.

No one was injured in Thursday morning's storm. Brenda said they were able to save items that were in the house before tearing it down. It was unsafe to keep it standing.