La Crosse resident helps with clean up efforts in Iowa

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) – A large storm almost two weeks ago left many parts of Iowa devastated. When tragedy strikes, there are always those who are eager to help. And one La Crosse resident packed up his stuff and headed to Cedar Rapids to help with the clean up.

“Friday I just said I would pack up my dad’s chainsaw and my tent and just go. I didn’t really have a plan, I didn’t know where I was going, and just went for it,” said Aidan Fisher.

He jumped into his car and headed for Iowa. He said when he arrived in Cedar Rapids, he took the first exit into a neighborhood and started looking for a place to start.

“I just kind of started winding through a neighborhood and I was truthfully just shocked. I drove for about ten minutes just stunned at the situation. weaving in and out of trees that were in the road,” said Fisher. “Eventually I landed at a dead end because a tree was in the road. And I’m like, all right I guess this is where I stop.”

So he hopped out of his car and started cutting up the tree.

“The neighbor came out front and was chatting with me for a little bit, and said ‘well, dinner’s ready,'” said Fisher.

Fisher expected to just eat dinner with the family.

“They directed me back to the alley and the whole block all met together every evening for like a potluck dinner,” said Fisher. “They called themselves the alley cats.”

He said the alley cats were positive and supportive of each other.

“They knew that times were tough and community was super important to them,” said Fisher.

Fisher continued to help the neighborhood clean up the damage for the rest of the weekend, and the energy from the alley cats kept him going.

“I was just beat dead tired from running a chainsaw from quite literally nine in the morning until it was dark and I couldn’t run it anymore,” said Fisher.

Fisher doesn’t know anyone from Cedar Rapids, but he said heading out on a whim to help just felt right.

“I truly felt like that was the right thing to do. It’s what I needed to do. And man, was I ever blessed for it. It was an incredible experience and a great time,” said Fisher.

Such a great time, that he’s headed back this weekend with nine more friends to continue the cleanup efforts.

“Of course we’re going to go meet up with the alley cats at some point,” said Fisher.

Fisher said the devastation in Cedar Rapids is the most shocking he’s ever seen and the alley cats just got power back to their homes after 12 days without it. He left early this afternoon with the same intention as last weekend, to help out and to make friends.