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Waupaca County hit by storms

CO-storm1b-190725 CO-storm2-190725 CO-storm3a-190725 CO-storm4-190725 CO-storm5-190725 CO-storm7-190725 CO-storm8-190725 More storm damage at Bear Lake this weekend.Photo Courtesy Sam Webb
Friends and neighbors chipped in to help remove a tree that fell and damaged Rhoda Engle's home at 803 Royalton St. in Waupaca. Several other homes along Royalton Street and throughout Waupaca County were damaged shortly before noon July 20 after storms rolled through the area. Greg Seubert Photo

High winds cause extensive damage, power outages

Cleanup is underway throughout Waupaca County following weekend storms.

Across the state, more than 150,000 customers were without power on Saturday, July 20.

By Sunday afternoon, utility companies had restored electricity to 98,000 customers.

In the Waupaca area, 6,622 Wisconsin Public Service customers lost power.

Most had their power restored by Sunday afternoon.

Central Wisconsin Electric reported more than 5,700 customers had lost power following the storm Saturday, July 20.

“The damage to the central Wisconsin area has been extensive and extended outages are expected,” CWE reported on its Facebook page. “Crews have been hampered by the trees that have fallen onto roads making them impassable.”

As of 12:43 p.m. Monday, July 22, 4,789 CWE customers were still without power.

A utility pole on North Water Drive near Bear Lake was snapped in half during Saturday’s storm.
Photo Courtesy of Carol Peterson

Residents around Bear Lake south of Manawa saw extensive damage.

As of Monday afternoon, 36 Alliant Energy customers were still without power.

According to Alliant, electricity in the Manawa area is expected to be restored by 7 a.m. Tuesday.

More than 100 Alliant customers in the Iola-Scandinavia remained without power Monday afternoon, with no estimate on when power may be restored.

The Waupaca County Sheriff’s Office set up an emergency command center and received more than 100 storm-related 911 calls over the weekend.

Callers reported power outages, downed power lines, sparking transformers, trees in roadways, burning trees and closed roads.

Sheriff Tim Wilz sent out a press release urging residents to report power outages to the utility companies rather than to 911.

He also asked that people call 211 for assistance.

The American Red Cross opened a reception area for those in need at the Waupaca Expo Center Saturday night and all day Sunday.

The recycling center located in Waupaca, just north of the intersection of U.S. Highway 10 and State Highway 22, will be open 24 hours for at least one week. The drop-off cost for tree-related storm damage will be waived.

Residents describe damage

Justin Stemwedel, Weyauwega, said there are trees down on nearly every block in Weyauwega.

He was home when the storm hit.

“My phone gave me a tornado warning alert, so I went and looked outside and said, ‘Yeah, it’s getting pretty bad.’ It was pretty dark and I stepped out on the porch and it was blowing pretty good from right to left. It wasn’t hailing or anything. I could hear trees snapping. There are trees down on pretty much every block,” Stemwedel said.

He said the storm lasted about 10 minutes.

“I didn’t go in the basement or anything, but there were a couple times when I thought I should.”

He eventually went inside.

“About 15 minutes after the storm, you could hear chain saws,” Stemwedel said.

Dave Mork, president of the Scandinavia Village Board, was cleaning up at his home on Main Street Sunday afternoon.

There was damage to a maple tree in front of his home and to a willow tree behind it.

Mork had been on vacation and returned home Saturday after the storm passed through Scandinavia.

He knew what to expect because a neighbor sent Mork photos from the storm’s damage.

Mork did not have power as of 4:20 p.m. Sunday when he spoke with the Waupaca County Post.

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