Tornado damages Trempealeau County home; community helps with cleanup

STRUM, Wis. (WKBT) — A Trempealeau County resident is dealing with the aftermath of Monday’s EF-1 tornado.

Mike Conner’s home was damaged, and two of his large sheds were destroyed at his home in Strum. He and his helpers are determined to make the best of it.

“To pull into a driveway and see it so damaged and changed and understand it will never be what it was, you know, it’s kind of like the loss of a good old friend,” Conner said. “But we can change the chapter and go to a new one. I’m already trying to look forward to that.”

Conner has had the property for around 13 years. Over his time there, he has noticed something special about the community.

“Always pitching in when somebody gets stuck and somebody has a need—there’s always somebody that will raise their hand,” Conner said.

This time was no different — when Conner saw the alerts warning about weather in the area, he was at his other home in Eau Claire.

“We started getting a number of calls … and emails … and texts, including photos from the neighbors,” he said.

Neighbors were already helping the night the damage struck, and neighbors and friends came to help the next morning.

“It always either doesn’t happen or it’s somebody you don’t know,” said Bill Liedl, a friend of Conner’s. “This is different when it’s somebody you know.”

Liedl was there shortly before 9 a.m., watching those helpers come and go. To him, helping was a no-brainer.

“You know, when something like this happens, that’s what you do,” Liedl said.

Conner is thankful for the community that rallied around him, and the community that will be there for him as he rebuilds.

“It makes it pretty special, so got some good things that came from kind of a bad situation,” Conner said. “The rest of it, a year from now? It’ll look different. But it’s all gonna work.”

This article from Monday night has information and photos from the storm.

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