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Prairie Crossing Vineyard & Winery in Treynor heavily damaged from severe weather: 'It's heartbreaking'

Wedding and events will have to be moved and the town's economy could be impacted
Posted at 6:50 PM, Jun 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-15 19:50:30-04

TREYNOR, Iowa (KMTV) — In the wake of the severe storms overnight Tuesday and into Wednesday, Pottawattamie County saw extensive wind damage in places like Carson, Macedonia and Treynor.

One place that was destroyed is Prairie Crossing Vineyard and Winery in Treynor.

Douglas Gray had big hopes for the popular wedding venue. He was planning to take ownership of it in July, but had an "eerie feeling" when he spotted the storm clouds.

"Came racing out here with my wife, and we could see it coming down L 55. The event center was gone. So that was our first assessment, obviously. As we came up the road you could see more and more of the damage kind of unfold," Gray said.

The event center is gone, there are fallen trees, the roof on the production center is missing and the majority of the vineyard is destroyed, which means this year's grape production is in jeopardy.

"The damages that occur are one of those type of damages; it's going to take some time to come back and repair," City Administrator Michael Holton said.

With all that damage, it will impact the summer season.

"The weddings will have to be moved elsewhere. There was still some graduation stuff going on, other parties, there was a big 5K wine run out here July 16. We're not gonna be able to, for safety issues, let that happen," Gray said.

Holton expects this loss could even impact the town's economy.

"The people that come in to eat at the restaurants use the gas and everything else that comes involved. It's not just the winery itself. It's kind of a total impact," Holton said.

For Gray, there are a lot of "unknowns" at this point. He's still interested in taking over ownership, but as he helps with clean-up he reflects on all he's lost.

"We've been through hurricanes, we've been through earthquakes, we've seen tornadoes, but to see it hit something so directly you're so involved in, it's heartbreaking," Gray said.

Gray says the current owners haven't seen the damage in person yet since they've been out of state. They are getting in contact with people who have planned events, like weddings, at the winery.

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