Microburst winds destroy local family's barn, injure horses - KULR8.com | Montana's News Leader | Billings, MT

Microburst winds destroy local family's barn, injure horses

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Sudden winds as high as 168 miles per hour but lasting only a few minutes are described by the National Weather Service as 'microbursts.'
Tonight, KULR-8's Melinda Lee shares one local woman's experience with these winds that destroyed her barn and threatened the safety of her family. 

Just west of Laurel, Punky Guffey's growing family includes 2 kids, 3 dogs, and 25 horses.

"Horses are a big thing for us," Guffey said. "We're out here every single day with them."

Guffey said she was outside with her children, dogs, and horses Friday when the unexpected happened: a microburst, or sudden strong surge of wind. 

"It was a perfect day, there was no clouds, no breeze, nothing," Guffey said. "Then all of a sudden a breeze came up, it ripped the roof of the barn off, it flew away in 3 different pieces."

Guffey said one piece of the roof was carried more than 75 yards into their neighbor's pasture. She said her nephew rushed her children inside, who were only feet from where pieces landed, as she attended to one of her horses that one piece of roof landed on.

"I was able to get the horse untied and keep his head down and get the piece off of him," Guffey said.

Thankfully, Guffey said her horses appear to have only suffered cuts and scratches, and no one was seriously injured when this unpredictable act of nature occured. 

"All in all, everyone seems okay, just kind of shaken up," Guffey said. "Another horse had a baby (Saturday morning), so it must have scared it out of her!"

Guffey's chosen name for the newest addition to the family: Wind. 

"I don't really know if what happened to describe it as wind, because it happened so quick and was over so quick," Guffey said. "I thought it was a good name for her."

Meet the Guffey family and hear their microburst experience on KULR-8 News tonight. 

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