ROAD TO RECOVERY: Pig farmer plans to rebuild after farm is leveled by derecho

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Source: KWWL Iowa

“It sounded like a train,” Farmer Bryan Ellenbecker said as the derecho passed over top of him, and his 10-acre 5,000 pig farm.

In all 30-Plus years of experience being a pig farmer, her’s never seen anything like this.

“I ran to the office and got under a desk because I don’t have any storm shelter out here, so I ran underneath and just prayed it wasn’t going to take me,” Ellenbecker said.

When the dust cleared, Ellenbecker estimated the damage cost over $1 million.

Through the help of neighbors, Ellenbecker cleared debris for seven days.

“Basically piece by piece, we took the building down and pulled the hogs out,” Ellenbecker said.

Two hog barns housed the thousands of hogs, but were reduced to their foundation. 100 pigs were killed in the derecho’s wake, and the ones that survived were moved to a nearby farm.

“Took us a day and a half to move all the pigs out. Sun up, sun down been out here cleaning,” Ellenbecker said.

The complete cost and damage will be covered by insurance according to Ellenbecker.

“The insurance that I have, I’m ensured for over 1.8 million. So, that’s a total replacement cost,” Ellenbecker said.

Ellenbecker has had the farm for four years, he plans to rebuild the farm from the ground up.

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