UPDATE: Damage Remains One Year After Adams County Tornadoes

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UPDATED Tuesday, April 10, 2012 --- 11:00 p.m.

One year after tornadoes caused millions of dollars in damage in central Wisconsin, signs of the storm remain.

Marty Fisher lives on Cottonville Ave. with his wife a few miles north of Friendship. Exactly a year ago the storm damaged their house beyond repair.

After 5 months living in a small camper he has a new home, but you don't have to look further than across the street to see much of the damage persists. In what was once acres of forest, nothing stands more than a few feet above the ground as tree debris from the storm is still strewn across the property.

Meanwhile, local officials are still responding to the aftermath.

The Adams County Sheriff's Department says looting became a problem after the tornadoes. Thieves are stealing scrap from damaged properties that look abandoned.

Local towns are also still busy collecting grant money to make repairs. Adams County Emergency Management Director Jane Gervais is helping coordinate grants from the Wisconsin Disaster Fund. She says she's helped accept more than $150,000 so far for road and equipment repairs.

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UPDATED Thursday, April 28, 2011 --- 1:55 p.m.

Release from Adams County Emergency Management:

Adams County Tornado –Tree Donation and Preston Transfer Site Information

Heartland Farms Inc. and Veolia Environmental Services are assisting landowners who were affected by the tornado in Adams County by donating trees.

Those who were affected by the tornado and who wish to dig trees can contact Heartland Farms Inc Main Office at 907 3rd Ave, Hancock 715-249-5555 for permission / release forms as well as a map to the locations where they can dig trees.

Veolia Environmental Services in celebration of Earth Day will be distributing Red Pine Seedlings for tornado affected landowners in Preston, Colburn, Monroe and Strongs Prairie at the following locations and times:
Town of Preston Garage – Sat. May 14, 2011 from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Town of Colburn Town Hall – Sat. May 14, 2011 from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Town of Monroe Town Hall in the Garage – Sat. May 14, 2011 from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Town of Strongs Prairie Town Hall – Tues. May 10, 2011 from 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Town of Preston Transfer Site will end special transfer site hours on May 1st. Regular hours (Sat, Sun and Tuesday 10 AM – 4 PM) will resume after that date.

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UPDATED Tuesday, April 19, 2011 --- 11:53 a.m.

Release from Adams County Emergency Management:

Although Red Cross teams are no longer set up in the area, those affected by the tornado can contact the Red Cross at 877-618-6628.

Landowners who are in need of debris cleanup and personal needs assistance can call 211. Adams County Planning and Zoning Department will waive applicable fees for those in the affected area. Contact them at 608-339-4222 for more information.

Those interested in making a monetary donation to the tornado victims of the April 10, 2011 Disaster should send a check to the Grand Marsh State Bank at P.O. Box 10, Adams, WI 53910. The check must be made payable to the Adams County April 2011 Tornado Relief Fund

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UPDATED Sunday, April 17, 2011 --- 4:08 p.m.

Release from Adams County Emergency Management:

DONATIONS FOR THE VICTIMS OF THE APRIL 10, 2011 TORNADO

Anyone interested in making a monetary donation to the tornado victims of the April 10, 2011, disaster should send a check to the Grand Marsh State Bank at P.O. Box 10, Adams, WI 53910. The check must be made payable to the Adams County April 2011 Tornado Relief Fund.

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UPDATED Wednesday, April 13, 2011 --- 3:00 p.m.

Release from Adams County Emergency Management:

Adams County Tornado – Emergency Operations Center Closing, Wristbands & Important Public Assistance Information

The Emergency Operations Center and Landowners Assistance Station will close at 3 PM today. Short term recovery efforts will continue directly through the Emergency Management Office at 400 Main St, Friendship, 608-339-4248

Red Cross teams will continue to be in the area for the next several days offering free assistance. Contact the Red Cross at 877-618-6628.

Landowners who are in need of debris cleanup and personal needs assistance can call 211.

Wildfire season is here and burning should be the last alternative! DNR burning permits are required to burn leaves, brush, pine needles and clean or untreated wood only. Alternatives to burning are disposal at a local transfer site that accepts brush. Remember to check daily before burning by calling 1-888-WIS BURN (947-2876) or visit dnr.wi.gov/wisburn.

Wristbands are no longer required for entry into the affected areas.

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UPDATED Tuesday, April 12, 2011 --- 12:04 p.m.

Release from Adams County Emergency Management:

Severe Weather Outbreak

(Friendship, WI)
Adams County Emergency Management continues to monitor the storm damage in central Adams County. A secure area still remains in the Cottonville area. A map of the secure area is available on the Adams County website http://www.co.adams.wi.gov/. Property owners located in that area will still need to check in at the Adams County Community Center in the in the Flick Room #103 in the at 569 N Cedar Street in Adams to obtain a wristband. Land owners are asked to bring proof of property address such as a tax bill or a piece of mail showing the property address. Information on contractors, fraud alerts, and other owners assistance information is available at that location.

Town of Preston transfer site on 13th Lane will be open for brush and building debris collection for town residents. Town of Preston residents will need to provide their transfer site identification. Building debris for those located in the secure area can also be dropped off at the Preston Town Garage dumpsters on Cottonville Avenue East of Hwy 13. Again, residents will need to provide their transfer site identification and may require a wristband if they are entering the secured area.

Volunteers who wish to assist disaster victims outside of the secure area should contact specific landowners for permission to assist.

Check Adams County Government webpage http://www.co.adams.wi.gov/
for a map of the effected area and for more information as it becomes available.

If you require shelter, or if you are a property owner in this area and have a question or damage reports regarding your property, please call 608-339-4526.

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UPDATED Tuesday, April 12, 2011 --- 11:20 a.m.

Release from Adams County Emergency Management:

Adams County Tornado –Assistance for Landowners

If you are a property owner in the wristband area (“secured area”) you can call the Red Cross directly at 877-618-6628 to discuss the damage to your property. The Red Cross has a variety of services available to meet your immediate needs.

Lunch and dinner are available today, April 12th, at the Pineland School located at 1070 St Hwy 13 for those affected by the tornado damage. Lunch will be served starting at noon and dinner will be served starting at 5:00 p.m.

To assist affected landowners and those working in the area, the Adams County Public Health Dept. is holding a tetanus shot clinic free of charge on Wednesday April 13, from 8-4 at the Public Health Office, 108 E North Street, Friendship. No reservation required.

There is a medical unit set up at 13th Lane and Chicago Avenue at the Cottonville Dam for minor first aid needs. In the case of emergency, dial 911.

For More Information
Adams County Emergency Management
http://www.co.adams.wi.gov/

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UPDATED Monday, April 11, 2011 --- 5:30 p.m.

47 homes destroyed or severely damaged in Adams Co

FRIENDSHIP, Wis. (AP) -- A preliminary estimate says the spring storm that hit Adams County in central Wisconsin on Sunday evening did more than $2 million in damage in the towns of Strongs Prairie and Preston alone.

Adams County authorities report Monday afternoon that the storm destroyed seven private homes and did major damage to 40 more. Twenty-four private residences received minor damage. That's more than $1.4 million in damage.

Six businesses also sustained a total of $882,000 in damage.

The National Weather Service reports a tornado hit the county about 6:16 p.m. Sunday and traveled about 17 miles from west of Arkdale to northwest of Coleman.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED: Monday, April 11, 2011 -- 4:45 p.m.
By NBC15's Dana Brueck

"I would say it was over within five seconds. It just blasted through here and it was gone," a homeowner says.

Sunday night's storms snapped trees and scattered debris. Now, homeowners survey the damage in the light of day.

The National Weather Service confirms two tornadoes touching down in Wisconsin. It confirms a tornado a few miles west of Arkdale, in Adams County. Storm damage stretches east toward Cottonville.

Several businesses were damaged. Early estimates also show 40 homes with major damage, and several homes were destroyed.

The rev of chainsaws surrounds Scott Zindars Cottonville home.

"Right now, we're trying to clean up all of these boards... with the nails."

His five bedroom house hit hard.

"The next thing you know... it's over with so fast. We didn't even hear anything, really."

But what the storm left behind is eye opening: snapped trees, a storage shed tossed, and a massive backyard cleanup.

Out front work's already underway to secure the home Zindars shares with his wife.

He says the two, along with their animals, managed to rush to safety.

"We got down in the basement in time, and we didn't think we had any damage. We just heard one window broke, broken."

With part of their roof gone, the Zindars need another place to stay. Their RV is now wrapped around a tree.

"I don't know whether to cry or to scream," Mickki Fisher says.

Directly across Highway 13, Mickki Fisher and her husband also escaped injury.

"I was in the living room shutting windows and he started yelling at me... leave'em ... get to the basement," she says, "And, by that time, the shed across the street was already exploding and pieces of it were flying across so, we weren't even down the basement steps all the way when it hit our house."

The strength of the storm shattered windows, scattering glass.

Downed wires cross the Fisher yard.

"The house appears to be leaning... we do have cracks in the basement."

But, Fisher says perhaps her most heartbreaking loss: giant trees.

"People used to just drive by and stop and say ... looks like a park... because we liked to keep it looking nice and now there's just nothing left."

Back at the Zindars, he's trying to salvage important keepsakes, but also looking to keep afloat his livelihood.

"That was a fairly new shop right there... "

The storm also wiped out his boat repair business.

"They'll probably just take a bulldozer and start fresh."

As mentioned, the twister in Adams County is one of two confirmed by the National Weather Service - the other in Winnebago County.

Also, from the Red Cross:
The American Red Cross is responding to multiple disasters in the area. Volunteers in Adams County have been working since last night when a tornado passed through the Arkdale area. The Red Cross has set up a distribution site at Pineland Elementary School, 1070 Hwy 13, Friendship, WI. Residents affected by the tornado and/or power outage may pick-up bottled water and food at the distribution site. The distribution site will be open until 7 PM tonight and will be open from 8 AM – 7 PM on Tuesday.

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UPDATED Monday, April 11, 2011 --- 4:25 p.m.

***NOTE: Click on the PHOTOS tab for pictures from Adams County. NBC15's Dana Brueck is covering the storm damage in Adams County. Watch for her reports on NBC15 News at 5pm and 6pm.

From the Adams County Emergency Management:
Adams County Tornado – Extent of the Damage

A preliminary estimate of the damage in the affected areas of the Towns of Strongs Prairie and Preston has been completed. Forty (40) private residences sustained major damage and twenty-four (24) private residences sustained minor damage totaling approximately $1,438,000. Seven (7) private residences were destroyed. Six (6) businesses sustained damage totaling approximately $882,000.

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UPDATED Monday, April 11, 2011 --- 12:45 p.m.

From Adams County Emergency Management:

Adams County Emergency Management continues to monitor the storm damage in central Adams County. After 2:00 p.m. today, landowners that would like to return to their property should come to the Adams County Community Center, Flick Room #103, to get a wristband. You will need to bring proof of your property address such as a tax bill or electric bill with you. You will not be able to enter your property without a wristband.

Power lines are still down and property owners and the public are being asked to stay away from the area so that work crews can continue to clear roads and restore power. We are not requesting volunteers to assist in clean-up at this time.

Check Adams County Government webpage http://www.co.adams.wi.gov/
for a map of the affected area and for more information as it becomes available.

A press conference for the media will be held at the Adams County Courthouse at 3:00 p.m.

If you require shelter, or if you are a property owner in this area and have a question or damage reports regarding your property, please call 608-339-4526.

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UPDATED Monday, April 11, 2011 --- 12:45 p.m.

2 tornadoes confirmed so far in Wisconsin

MERRILL, Wis. (AP) -- The National Weather Service has so far confirmed two tornadoes touching down in Wisconsin.

A tornado with winds of 110 to 120 miles an hour was confirmed about three miles west of Arkdale in Adams County.

The other had winds of 75 to 110 miles an hour just west of Winchester in Winnebago County.

There were still survey crews out Monday afternoon in Eau Claire, Marathon, Adams, Juneau, Waushara and Outagamie counties looking to confirm possible tornadoes.

Two of the harder hit communities were Merrill in Marathon County and Kaukauna in Outagamie County.

In Merrill, Fire Department Capt. Mike Drury says at least three people were injured in Sunday night's storms and were taken to nearby hospitals.

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Information from: Wausau Daily Herald, http://www.wausaudailyherald.com

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.