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Salt River family left with close to nothing after home destroyed in microburst

Salt River area homes destroyed by microburst
Posted at 4:21 PM, Jul 19, 2022

A young father and his daughter were thrown out of their home when a microburst rocked the Salt River area Sunday.

Wind gusts of up to 80 miles per hour destroyed several mobile homes including one belonging to Tristan Schurz.

“It just happened so quick,” said Schurz.

As family and friends help him pick up the pieces of what was once his home, Schurz told ABC15 he’s just trying to process what happened.

“I grabbed my daughter and I kind of tucked her next to me," said Schurz, describing Sunday night. “I just kind of held on.”

Schurz says he was on the phone with his sister when he noticed the house moving. Kobe, his brother who lives with him, was working at the time.

“Middle of the conversation, yeah, just a big gust of wind just came,” said Schurz. “We were on the couch it kind of just threw us against the wall. We just ended up rolling with it. A couple of rolls and the whole thing ripped apart and started flying away.”

Schurz landed in the front yard with his daughter, 2-year-old Penelope, and saw their home scattered across the road.

”There’s really nothing left,” he said.

Schurz and his daughter have only a basket of clothes and a couple of pairs of shoes, but not much else survived the storm.

“To know that they were laying in a big puddle of water there in just their pajamas...” said Schurz's dad, Eric, as he looked at the rubble that was left behind.

Volunteers sifted through pots, shoes, clothes, and toys Tuesday that were blown all over.

Schurz works as a landscaper. Despite losing his home, he hasn’t stopped helping people remove debris blown across the Valley.

“He’s devastated, of course,” said Eric. “He’s a person who doesn’t like to ask for help.”

But community members and family took the time to come help.

Family is now gathering clothes and hygiene items and have also started a GoFundMe to help the brothers and Penelope.

“Just imagine how heavy that frame is, just if it landed on them,” said Eric.

As their family works to salvage what they can, they know this could have ended much worse.

“All this stuff is replaceable, rebuildable,” said Eric. “But you know, arms, limbs, life isn’t.”