A close call

Reported by Jade Olds |

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LA CROSSE, Wis. – Imagine waking up to the sights and sounds of a tornado heading directly towards your home.

That’s what happened to Barb Engelhart on Sunday afternoon.

Two days after the tornado she’s still finding parts of people’s homes scattered around her bluff side property, but
surprisingly her house is still intact.

Out her living room window, Barb has watched many storms develop over La Crosse, but none quite like this.

“You could just feel the whole house shaking, from all the trees bending over, I thought we were gone,” said
Engelhart.

She was able to make it safely to the basement with her son.

It wasn’t until after the storm had ended that Barb realized just how fortunate she was.

From her deck, a clear view of the tornado’s path that ended right beside her home.

“Thank god the bluff was here I think, because that’s what saved us,” said Engelhart

Living on the side of the bluff is now a constant reminder of the damage to the city.

As crews work to clear the hundreds of destroyed trees, the view from the Engelhart home is changing.

The city has cleared about 25 trees on houses and estimates more than 800 trees fell during the storm.

“There are still a lot of bad trees. I got a list of about 25 I want to get in the near future, that I know for
sure. The stumps are going to take awhile, the sidewalks are buckled in this area. It’s probably going to be all summer
that they are going to have some sort of inconvenience, but we went through a tornado,” said Pat Bonadurer, city
forester for La Crosse.

The city has already cleared the majority of trees that fell on the boulevards.

Next they’ll be taking down trees at risk of falling, starting with the most dangerous.

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