Lost and Found for Tornado Victims

By: Natalie Swaby
By: Natalie Swaby

Sawing through the stacks and tossing trees, Todd Tupper is combing through and cleaning up. His wife and two daughters were in the house when the tornado touched down Thursday.

"They thought they were done," says Tupper. "But it was over in seconds, they looked out and could see light on both sides."

Having his home in ruins is the second tragedy in recent days. Tupper is also Christ Lutheran's treasurer, and important documents from the burnt up church were buried in the rubble at his home.

He says, "yesterday an individual found the actual bag I carry with the financial records."

On this day, Todd Tupper was able to find his daughter's bracelet, something that has sentimental value. They have also found family photos. Uncovering those kind of items has the townships and city of Stoughton getting involved.

"This is the mail that has come in in the last few days," says Stoughton City Clerk, Luann Alme, as she drops a big bin on the table.

Inside the bin are wedding photos, prom pictures, and letters.

"This is from Milwaukee, it says to whom it may concern, we found this in our yard on Friday morning, we live a mile from Mitchel Airport, and it is a picture," shows Alme after reading the one page note.

Town of Christiana Chairman, Dennis Lund, says, "there is going to be wallets, jewelry, and everything else, so we are going to want to have people identify it rather than grab it and say that it is yours."

"People will be able to come here to the fire station, and take a look and try to reclaim some of their belongings, some of their life," explains Alme.

While they're tallying the treasures, Tupper's already made a big find, his wife's wedding ring.

"She puts it in a glass dish that was by the sink in the bathroom upstairs. Some helper broke down the door, we got in there, it was still sitting in the glass dish by the sink," he says. "Even though the whole bathroom was in the back yard, we got the ring, so that was nice."

A lot of tornado victims may find they are also lucky when the lost and found opens at Stoughton's Fire Department in a couple of days.

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