News: Clark Co. -Tornado Wreaks Havoc in County (Jul 2010)

Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon

Surnames: Gadwood, Dolsey, Subke, Puetz, Blackdeer,

----Source: The Clark County Press, (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI) 7/21/2010

Tornado Wreaks Havoc in Jackson & Clark Counties (Damages – 14 July 2010)

By Linda Cottrell-Sanders

Wednesday, July 14, started out as a typical summer day. Hot – with high humidity, a shower in the morning, more sun and more humidity – then that deadly stillness which precedes a storm.

By late afternoon, the weather changed as black clouds rolling in brining tornado winds, heavy rain, hail and much destruction.

A tornado was spotted in the Osseo area, then reportedly was headed towards Humbird and next into Neillsville. Veering to the south of the city, it first touched down in Clark County near Hatfield.

It caused extensive damage parallel to STH 95, hitting with devastation on Riviera Avenue and across the river on Arbutus Drive. The extent of the storm damages include crop, woodland and structural losses – no doubt in the many thousands of dollars.

Fortunately, there were no deaths or injuries reported. Most residents of the area were aware of the dangers of this approaching storm, as reports on television and radio stations tracked its progress. Tornado sirens went off in every town and area people watched as the storm moved in swiftly, many seeing the tornado funnel cloud.

But some, like David Gadwood on Arbutus Drive on the east shore of the Black River in rural Neillsville, was only alerted when his wife Jeannie called from work and told him to get in the basement immediately.

The Gadwoods suffered structural damage to their home with a tree lodged on the roof. A sad sight to see was the extent of trees that were down, twisted and destroyed on their riverside property. Several of their neighbors were in even worse shape.

Clean-up began in earnest at the Gadwood home Thursday, as friends and co-workers of Dave and Jeannie, both employed at Memorial Medical Center in Neillsville, arrived with chainsaws and manpower. The driveway to their home and others on that section of the river, are long, and just clearing the driveway was monumental. David was grateful for everyone’s help in the cleanup and commented, “When an emergency hits, it doesn’t take long before your true friends come to help.”

Power remained out in parts of Hatfield/Clark County area until late Thursday afternoon. Jackson Electric Cooperative services most of the homes in the area, and crewmember Brian Dolsey reported crews were called out at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday. They worked clearing and repairing the lines Thursday, while township and county crews cleared the roads.

Riviera Drive was completely blocked from trees and debris in the roadway. Major tree loss began with a few homes south of Oakwood Place, then north past Bush Road. Don Subke, Dewhurst Township maintenance supervisor, worked Wednesday night and most of Thursday with volunteers and local crews clearing the roads, the tall hardwoods and pines that made the trip down Riviera Avenue such a pleasant drive, are mostly gone.

Several homes on Riviera Avenue were also in the path of the storm. Michael Puetz, owner of a newer log-sided home had a piece of trim torn off the house, no windows broken, but hardly a tree standing in his hillside. Puetz’s garage, built last year, was heavily damaged by a tree branch that took half the roof, but nothing stored inside was damaged. Likewise, two adjoining properties lost most of their trees, but sustained minimal damage to buildings.

Surveying the damage on the east side of the river was done easier by boat, and many were out doing just that on the following days. From Arbutus Drive it was impossible to see the damage caused to the homes along the shore, as downed trees covered most of the property. Windy Point boat landing was completely covered with trees and debris.

Crews also worked non-stop on the east side of the river and were aided by volunteers from the Ho-Chunk Nation Thursday, Greg Blackdeer, District One Legislator, gathered a volunteer group of about 75 people to help members of the tribe, many who reside in that area, clear their land an also to help other residents as time allowed.

ANOTHER Article on the Tornado and many photos showing damages and folks working to clean-up.

News: Ho-Chunk Nation Aids Tornado Victims (July - 2010)

Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon

Surnames: Helgeson, Blackdeer

----Source: The Clark County Press, (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI) 7/21/2010

Ho-Chunk Nation Aids Tornado Victims (July - 2010)

Gregg Blackdeer was in charge of many Ho-Chunk Nation property owners and volunteers on east side of river that gathered to help clean up damage from tornado. Linda Cottrell Sanders photo

Last week’s tornado that swept through Jackson and Clark Counties July 14 left hundred of downed trees in its path. The damage blocked access to roadways and left many without electricity or running water.

The day following the storm, the Ho-Chunk Nation (HCN) organized clean-up operations and goodwill for their families whose property and roadways suffered damage. Approximately 12 homes affected are located on trust land. HCN offices were notified of the damage and immediately sent help. The HCN dispatched supplies, port-a-potties, water buffalos, heavy equipment, trucks and cleanup crews to help with the damage caused by the tornado.

“All I heard was silence and then a snapping sound, and I looked out my window and all I could see was 20-to-30ft. trees breaking in half and then trees, and debris being flung everywhere,” said Kunu Helgeson, Dells Dam resident.

As of late Thursday afternoon, workers were still clearing the road to Helgeson’s home. No homes or residents on trust property were harmed or injured during this storm. Water and electricity were restored to the homes Thursday night.

This tornado was officially declared an F1 on the Fujita Scale for Tornado Intensity.

The HCN says it stands ready to coordinate with local and state officials and is able to help when disaster strikes.




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