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Emma Murray, Published June 01 2011

Storm tears down Walcott farm's barns and grain bins, but tulips are OK

WALCOTT, N.D. – The tulips Peggy and Greg Sorge planted over the weekend remain, but their barn, three grain bins and a pole barn were destroyed in Monday’s storm.

“We got the yard all nice, and now the tulips are one of the few things still standing; it’s just weird,” Peggy said.

The Sorges’ farm, one mile northeast of Walcott, faced the brunt of the Memorial Day storm that passed through Richland County.

“I took a mad dive for the basement,” Peggy said. “One chunk from the pole barn went through the window.”

The debris, now littering their once manicured lawn, is proof of the storm’s strong winds, which swept through Walcott, 32 miles southwest of Fargo, and much of the Red River Valley.

The same winds that severely damaged nearly all of the Sorges’ surrounding property, with the exception of their home, Peggy said.

“Everything went around the house – it looks like it made a roundabout,” she said.

Considering the minimal amount of damage done to their home, the Sorges are thankful it is still in a livable condition, Greg said.

“I try to have a good attitude,” Greg said. “We got by with a busted window and some roof work. A person can either have a pity party or stand up straight and move on.”

The Sorges’ biggest loss was their barns, which they had reshingled and repainted recently, Peggy said.

“I had to take a double take on the barn. I just couldn’t believe it,” Greg said.

Although the Sorges’ property saw some of the storm’s worst damage, they are glad that no one, including their dogs or horses, was hurt.

Through the ordeal, community members have offered their help and support.

“We’ve had neighbors stop by and bring us casseroles and people coming out to offer to help us who hardly know us,” Greg said.

With an adjustor set to visit their property today, the Sorges are just hoping for decent weather to begin their cleanup process.

“We’ll have to see what the adjustor says and then start from there, but we’re going to have to rely on Mother Nature to be nice for a while,” Greg said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Emma Murray at (701) 241-5480