Albert Lea couple enjoys new house rebuilt after 2014 storm

Published 11:30 am Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Early one morning in June 2014, Matt and Anne Greibrok woke up to an alarming noise.

Sleeping in their master suite, they awoke at about 3:30 a.m. to the start of their roof, garage and bedroom being torn apart by a powerful storm. The windows cracked and then broke, and before they knew it, they saw a tree coming through their back room.

Anne Greibrok said she didn’t think twice before she jumped over the railing to the home’s lower level, followed shortly after by her husband.

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A meteorologist with the National Weather Service at that time said the damage was caused by a downburst of winds during heavy storms, though some speculated it was the work of a tornado.

The winds ripped off a portion of the roof of the house, at 1349 Eastgate Road in Albert Lea’s Goose Lake Estates neighborhood, along with a portion of the garage. The storm also broke out windows and snapped large oak trees in half in the backyard. The couple estimated they lost about 50 oak trees that day.

The insurance company claimed the eight-year-old house a total loss, and debris from the house was found across Goose Lake in the Tiger Hills neighborhood.

The Greibroks said after the storm, they immediately went to Brett and Jess Richards, the builders of their original house and owners of what is now known as Broadway Home Design, to discuss rebuilding.

Advocates of using local businesses and resources when at all possible, the couple used most of the same local contractors who originally built the home for their new house.

They moved in about six months later on Dec. 22, 2014.

“It was a very quick turnaround,” Matt Greibrok said. “Everyone worked really hard to get us back into our home. It was an incredible amount of work.”

The home, which sits on 1 1/3 acres of land, has the same floor plan as their original house with 4,000 square feet, four bedrooms and two full and two half bathrooms. Though the same in layout, it has many decorating updates that make it a new space.

Anne Greibrok said their favorite part of the house is all of the large windows.

“We designed this home to cater to the view of Goose Lake,” she said. “It’s like you’re outdoors but you’re indoors.”

Her husband said he enjoys the kitchen area, which features Bertch cabinets, marble tile with Cambria counters, a gas stove and a double oven. A gathering spot in the home, it is connected to a sitting room in the back of the house and a living room on the main level with a fireplace.

There is walnut flooring throughout the entire home.

The couple said the home was initially designed around an antique dining room table set of Matt Greibrok’s grandparents and the same space houses the table today.

Aside from the master suite on the main level, all of the other bedrooms are on the lower level, along with a family room with fireplace and mini-bar area.

Anne Greibrok said they spend much of their time in the living room in the summer and in the lower level family room in the winter.

Outside, the couple has a deck and patio, along with a fire pit in the backyard.

The couple said they were the first home in the neighborhood and have loved to see it grow in the years that they have lived there. There are 11 homes so far and 24 available lots.

They said there are a variety of families in the neighborhood, including some with young children and some that are older. 

“We love the house, but we love the neighborhood,” Matt Greibrok said. “It has always been tight knit.”

Matt Greibrok, who grew up in the Moscow area, is the chief operating officer for Sanco Enterprises. Anne Greibrok, who grew up near Myrtle, is the materials manager at Lou-Rich.

They have two grown daughters who graduated from Albert Lea High School.