Sunray community weathers the storm

Microbursts of up to 70 mph hit Sunray hard, and now the community is facing the aftermath and beginning to put their town back together.

The storm rolled into town around 10:30 Wednesday night, ripping roofs off of houses and trees out of the ground. Many homes and businesses were damaged, and one building even blew into the street- firefighters had to use extracting tools to demolish it.

"The damage done to some individual properties is probably the worst that I've seen since I've been here," City Manager Greg Smith said.

Store Owner Lance Broxson is now in the process of boarding up his business and starting repairs.

"The roof is completely gone and laying in the street behind us. Our main store over here- the south awning is completely gone. There's pieces over here, there's pieces behind the store."

Broxson said seeing so much damage to something he has spent years building is an experience he is not sure how to handle.

"It's different," he said. "We've never gone through anything like this before, so it's kind of hard to know what emotions to have."

Also damaged was the new auditorium at Bible Baptist Church, which was built in the days prior to the storm. Its final truss was hung hours before the storm hit.

"Before I had seen it, they had called and told me," The Rev. Seth Seale stated. "And I just thought, 'You know, God always has a plan and it's His building, it's His money and He's taking care of it. So, we're just going to do what we can."

Despite the devastation, the community is coming together to clean up the town, and according to Smith, it is a "massive clean-up effort."

"As early as it is, already it's a strong community effort," he pointed out. "I don't think it'll take us long to get as far as streets cleared, alleys cleared. We want to make sure Xcel Energy can get up and down streets and alleys to get power back on to everybody."

Though he said he is not quite sure how to feel, Broxson added some humor to the situation.

"We'd been thinking of remodeling the front of this store, so this is probably going to be a good time to do that."