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Storm damage update

Downed trees, collapsed roofs, power outages

By Robert Cloud

Wednesday’s storm left a wide swath of downed trees and power outages throughout Waupaca County.

According to Communications Capt. Rob Karski, with the Waupaca County Sheriff’s Office, the dispatch center received 442 calls from 3-5 p.m. Wednesday. All but a few of them were storm related.

“Luckily, we had six dispatchers working once again, which was a great help to the community, officers, EMS and fire,” Karski said, comparing the number of thunderstorm-related calls to the emergency calls received during the Jan. 16 snowstorm.

Almost every fire department in Waupaca County responded to at least one storm-related fire.

Waupaca Fire Chief Jerry Deuman said his department received 16 emergency calls Wednesday.

The calls included downed power lines, transformers on fire, trees on fire and gas leaks.

Bryan Budsberg was on his way home from work Wednesday afternoon when his wife Darlene heard a loud crash.

When she looked out the window, she saw that their garage on Pebble Run Road in the town of Farmington had been demolished.

“I could not get to our house because there were big trees across the road,” Bryan said.

He noted Farmington’s crew cleared the road within half an hour.

“They did a heck of a job,” he said.

Discussing the wreckage strewn across his yard, Bryan said he was not looking forward to cleaning up the mess.

“There’s a bright side to everything,” he said. “This may mean an opportunity to build a new man cave.”

The Budsbergs were among those in the area who did not lose their power.

However, many residents in the area were not so lucky.

Wisconsin Public Service reported that more than 4,600 Waupaca area residents were without electricity at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday. That represented about 60 percent of their customers.

As of 10:30 a.m. Thursday, 2,758 WPS customers were still without power in the Waupaca area.

ThedaCare Medical Center-Waupaca lost power and was operating on an emergency generator Wednesday night. The hospital’s power has been restored.

ThedaCare At Home retail in Appleton was damaged the worst. The roof was heavily damaged, power lost and a gas line was cut.

WE Energies reported 1,111 customers were still without power in the Weyauwega area, 498 in the town of Lind, 235 in the Fremont area, 714 in Mukwa and 1,387 north of New London at 10 a.m. Thursday.

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