MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has declared a state of emergency for areas hit by Tuesday night’s deadly tornado.
Walker toured the damage Wednesday at Prairie Lake Estates mobile home park, where dozens of homes were destroyed.
The National Weather Service says the tornado started just west of Chetek and traveled nearly 40 miles east.
One man was killed, at least two dozen injured, with 17 rushed to the hospital.
Many victims spent the day Wednesday cleaning up, and counting their blessings. The cleanup in Chetek will continue for days and weeks to come.
Personal belongings were strewn across the ground, siding and roofs tossed off homes, people’s lives changed in a matter of moments on Tuesday night, but those material things can be replaced.
The tornado took away someone from Jewel Gavin that she can never get back.
Her father, 45-year-old Eric Gavin, was found dead in the wake of Tuesday’s tornado by emergency crews.
She was able to see the devastation that took her dad’s life along with the governor. She later waded through her father’s life in a way she never imagined she had have to — by sifting through the rubble.
One man from nearby Rice Lake heard about Jewel Gavin’s story and gifted her with $10,000. He told us he wants to ease the pain of any financial burden while she heals emotionally.
That spirit of generosity will continue Thursday. The school district in the area will be delivering meals to those in need and will open its doors to help out with providing storm victims a place to eat and clean up as well.
Three more suspected tornadoes touched down just east of Chetek, including in the town of Conrath.
There, high winds destroyed some homes and several outbuildings. The scene was somewhat similar to Chetek, with debris strewn everywhere and trees sheared from the ground.
Ken and Clara Dicuss rode out the storm in a closet, with their son holding the door.
“Just hoped we got through it. You can replace everything. You can’t replace us,” Clara said.
No deaths have been reported for the other tornadoes.