Microburst rips roof off home near Willcox - Tucson News Now

Microburst rips roof off home near Willcox

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - A small rural community is coming together to help a family displaced from their home after what Cochise County Sheriff's officials described as a microburst, ripped the roof off at least two buildings in the area.

Sheriff's officials said the strong winds came with a down pour and twisted several power poles, knocked down power lines, along with damaging buildings in the Kansas Settlement community of Willcox.

Phillip Stengl and his wife were at home when they said the microburst swept through their community, leaving behind a path of destruction.

Stengl said it started with lightning and rain, then it just got stronger. He was worried about water damage to his home, but that would turn out to be the least of his worries.

"Everything was blowing this way, horizontal, even the rain was horizontal. Then we got hit from the back. It started blowing the other way and everything started shaking, then it was off," said Stengl.

He said he heard a rippling sound and looked up and saw daylight above him. The storm lasted for two minutes, then Stengl said the rain and the winds died down.

On Wednesday evening, big chunks of his roof lay scattered throughout his front lawn, some pieces of it in a field across the road, and neighbors said they had found pieces of his roof two miles away, on Birch Road.

"It's pretty hard, but the best side of it is the community has come together. A lot of people came together and gave us a hand today," said Stengl.

Members of the Valley Mountain Mennonite Church and Wynn Chapel showed up at the Stengl home with their pick up trucks, and helped them haul their furniture into storage. In a small rural community, word of the devastation had spread fast. Stengl said he was touched by all of the support.

The couple had no insurance, and was not sure what they planned to do next.

"It's re-starting. It's a new chapter, looking to the bright side," said Stengl.

The American Red Cross was putting the couple up in a local hotel for a few days and provided them with basic supplies and groceries.

Those who would like to help the family re-build and donate building material were asked to contact Wynne Chapel in Willcox.

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