Community cleans up storm damage

Trees fell on buildings, in roads

An Onalaska neighborhood is coming together today after  a storm tore through the area Tuesday night.

A section of Oak Avenue was especially hard-hit, and for one homeowner there, it still hasn’t quite hit home.

“It’s kind of surreal right now,” said Trisha Stewart, a resident whose front-yard tree fell into her house from heavy winds. She was away from home when it happened, and got a phone call from her neighbor.

“When he called I thought, ‘Oh gosh, something must be going on,'” she said. “When I was coming down this road there were trees everywhere. I mean, they were all over this whole entire road.”

She and her neighbors had been up most of the night surveying the damage.

“My whole yard is completely uprooted,” she said. “Everybody was fine, thank God.”

Crews were working to take care of Stewart’s property, along with a tree from resident Shelly Wetzsteon’s yard that fell into her neighbor’s garage, just missing a car by a foot.

“I looked out the window and the wind was blowing really strong,” Wetzsteon said. “The dogs were barking and I said, ‘Our tree is gone.’ And my husband said, ‘What do you mean it’s gone?’ And I said, ‘It’s just gone!'”

While dealing with the storm’s aftermath, homeowners in what they call a tight-knit community are happy to report that no one is injured.

“Structural things like houses, the trees, and the landscaping can all be fixed,” Wetzsteon said. “And it’s better, it’s easier when you have friends to talk about it and share with.”

“Our community’s pretty close, so it was nice to have the camaraderie with everyone,” Stewart said.

Stewart was able to sleep in her home last night, and the tree is gone from her home, but the storm’s memory remains.

“I’m not going to have to worry about that tree anymore,” she said, “but, I think I’m always going to be a little more afraid of storms than I ever was.”

“It’s going to be a little nerve-wracking,” Wetzsteon agreed. “What if it hits our house next time?”

National Weather Service crews were out today to determine what kind of storm caused all the damage.