Wind rips roof off mobile home with man inside - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Wind rips roof off mobile home with man inside

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Wind ripped part of the roof off Don Thompson's mobile home Monday in Dubuque County Wind ripped part of the roof off Don Thompson's mobile home Monday in Dubuque County

Don Thompson is lucky he walked away unharmed from Monday evening's severe weather.

He was sitting in his trailer in Spring Valley Mobile Home Park in Dubuque County, when strong winds ripped off part of his roof.

"I started hearing this howling noise and the trailer started rocking," Thompson recalled. "It's the worst storm I've ever been in, and I got a little nervous."

Thompson did not realize part of his roof had come off, but his next door neighbor Dave Lang saw the whole thing happen.

"When his roof went off, I went out the door and ran over because I figured he might be in that front bathroom hiding, and I was afraid that when the roof went off that everything might've gone down on top of him," Lang said. "I went over and beat on the door. He opened the door up and he was fine."

Thompson joked that although he has always wanted a skylight in his trailer, he "didn't want one this big and this fast."

Spring Valley Mobile Home Park was in the line of storms that tore through eastern Iowa Monday evening, leaving all kinds of damage and debris in its wake.

Park owner Mike Friederick said the wind damaged roofing on three trailers. One of those lost its entire roof, though that trailer was unoccupied. Many trailers lost their skirting, and the wind damaged some 50 trees.

Despite the mobile home park's damage, nobody there was hurt.

Neighbors have a pump house they can go to for shelter, but they say it would only hold a few dozen people.

"I think we need a better shelter, a bigger shelter for everybody," Lang said.

Living in a mobile home during severe weather can be dangerous.

"If I move, I'm going to move back to Florida," Lang said with a chuckle, "because at least down there, you got a hurricane coming, you got a week you can leave the state. Here, tornado - snap - just like that, and that's it."

The National Weather Service says people living in mobile homes should get to the closest "substantial" shelter during tornado warnings. That means having a severe weather plan in place ahead of time and knowing exactly where to go for safety.

"From now on, if I know a storm's coming, I'm not staying here," Lang said, standing in front of his mobile home.

Thompson, who has lived in his mobile home for about 12 years, said it's likely a total loss. He was waiting on an insurance agent to show up Tuesday. He said he hopes to use the money to buy another trailer in the park, as he likes his neighbors.

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