Winds cause major damage at Adrian farm
ADRIAN -- Rolling thunder, flashes of lightning and heavy rains blanketed the region Sunday night, but a rural Adrian farm took a direct hit by a sudden burst of wind.
Estimated 60- to 70-mile-per-hour straight-line gusts ravaged the Cody Bullerman farm, causing significant damage to six dairy barns and obliterating a commodity shed. Another half-dozen buildings will need to be repaired. Combined, Bullerman puts the damage estimate at more than $1 million.
Still, he said, "It could have been worse."
None of the approximately 4,000 head of dairy heifers kept on the farm were injured or killed. The cattle range from day-old calves to 800-pound heifers.
On Tuesday, Bullerman and his family continued clean-up efforts, sorting through piles of debris to recycle the tin and hauling out loads of dairy heifers to help ease overcrowding. B&L Construction of Lismore already had crews on the scene working to repair or replace rafters and install new roofs on the damaged barns.
Calling it a "bad run of luck" for 3B Farms, Bullerman said Sunday's storm damage was the third time in recent years the family has had buildings destroyed by Mother Nature. In the winters of 2009-2010 and 2010-2011, heavy snow loads of roofs caused cave-ins on two of their barns.
The latest damage came with literally no warning.
Bullerman said the family sat down to eat supper a little after 6 p.m. when it started to rain. He went outside to get the burgers off the grill and, after returning to the table, looked out the window to see a tree flying through the air.
"There wasn't any warnings," Bullerman said, adding he knew there were thunderstorms in the forecast with potential for strong winds.
"Just like that it started to blow," he said. "Trees were cracking ... we couldn't see nothing but tin blowing. By the time we got to the basement, it was just about over."
The Bullermans returned from the basement to find a virtual war zone on their farm site. Their 60- by 120-foot commodity shed, which stores various feeds for the cattle, was completely destroyed, and half of a 100- by 300-foot cattle shed was gone. Boards once making up the framework for buildings were found jammed into big round bales, pierced through tin siding and scattered across nearby farm fields.
"There are a couple other barns that the tin is curled and rolled back," Bullerman said. Three-quarters of the machine shed was also destroyed.
Curt's Electric of Adrian was on the scene Sunday night, and Bullerman said it didn't take long for friends and neighbors to show up, thanks to postings on Facebook.
"That's nice in a small town -- lots of people pitched in," he said. "We appreciated it, that people came out and helped clean stuff up."
Daily Globe Reporter Julie Buntjer may be reached at 376-7330.