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Albert Lea Home Heavily Damaged by Wind

Created: 06/18/2014 8:27 PM KAALtv.com

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- Once again, our area gets hit with damaging winds and torrential downpours. ABC 6 talked with a family in Albert Lea who lost their home in the storm last night.

The homeowners tell us they believe a tornado came through early Wednesday morning and took out most of their home on Eastgate Road, but family members say it could have been a lot worse.

Wednesday, all the Greibrok family could do is survey the damage and pack up what's left of their home. "We didn't really realize what the extent of the damage was,” said homeowner Matt Greibrok.

Around 3:30 Wednesday morning, matt and his wife were blindsided by high winds. "We were in our bed sleeping of course and heard some pounding rain hitting the window and the next thing it turned into sounded like hail. We both jumped out of bed and we started running and just as we starting running out of our bedroom is when what we believe is a tornado probably hit,” said Matt.

Wednesday afternoon, the National Weather Service determined it as a downburst, not a tornado. No other homes in the neighborhood were touched. Still the damage to the Greibrok’s shows just how dangerous the winds were.

"The most devastating part is seeing the bedroom and knowing that they were in the bedroom when they heard the windows crack,” said daughters Nicole and Heather Greibrok.

"My wife actually ended up jumping over the railing to go down to the 2nd floor,” said Matt.  

They just barely made it to safety and the house wasn't quite as lucky. The garage is completely gone and much of the roof line ripped right off. There's water damage through most of the home and several old oak trees in the backyard are now sitting in piles.

"There's no question it's hard to look at, but you can replace the house and you can replace possessions,” said Matt. 

"It's a devastating feeling, but there's all of relief as well,” said Matt’s daughters. They had relief that their parents are ok and community members are lending a hand. "We're here to tell the story, so that's the blessing of it all,” said Matt. 

There’s still no telling how the cost of all the damage, but the Greibroks say they plan to rebuild from the ground up and will stay with family and friends in the meantime.