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ROCK VALLEY—A portion of Rock Valley was heavily damaged by winds during the overnight hours between Wednesday, July 3, and Thursday, July 4, according to the National Weather Service in Sioux Falls, SD.

NWS meteorologist Alex Trellinger said they aren’t sure if it was a tornado or straight-line winds that caused the damage in about a four-block area between on the west side of Rock Valley.

“We believe it’s straight-line winds and we do have one of our employees going out there currently right now to take a look at it himself,” Trellinger said.

Although the damage was contained to one area of town, Trellinger said it was substantial.

“We’ve got multiple reports of a roof and most walls removed from one house at the corner of Eight (Avenue) and 12th street in Rock Valley,” he said. “There was also some debris from damaged houses downstream of some homes to the east of that location.

“Utility poles were snapped and actually caused a small fire to start there. Several other homes have some roof damage or the siding was damaged, but, from what we’ve been told so far, the damage was concentrated to a four-block area.”

The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office sent out an alert a 4:16 a.m. Thursday notifying people that the road between 10th Avenue from 12th Street to Highway 18 in Rock Valley is partially closed off due to downed power lines.

Trellinger said this storm also caught his agency off guard.

“From what we saw on radar, we didn’t see any signature that would explain that type of phenomenon there,” he said. “That’s why we are sending someone down there especially; we need to figure out what happened there on the ground because our radar didn’t indicate anything like that was going to happen there.”