'I guess it's my turn to give': community cleans up after Chetek tornado

Nearly a week after a powerful tornado twisted its way through Chetek, Wis., it's the people who are powering the community forward. Meanwhile, officials raised the estimated cost of the tornado to more than $12 million.

On Monday an area radio station, WJMC, conducted a “radio-thon" fundraiser at Mosaic Telecom.

“It’s a sense of pride,” Michael J. Duncan, the news director for WJMC, told Fox 9. “This has been a great show of what a community can do when they come together.”

Down the road, at the turkey farm directly hit by the tornado, burning piles of debris sent clouds of smoke into the same sky that once produced the tornado. Nearby, a mountain of wood was growing as more tree debris was added. At an incinerator plant, 231 tons of storm debris have already burned—creating power for the community.

“If you give, you’ll receive. And I guess it’s my turn to give,” said Justin Paul, helping at the mobile home park devastated by the tornado.

The destroyed homes and related debris had been organized into large piles that will eventually get hauled away to another location.

Darrin Sever, whose mom owns the mobile home park, was working out of a donated RV. His home was destroyed.

“You gotta just keep going forward,” Sever said.

For wood debris, community members can drop them off at the City of Chetek Brush Site. Other debris can be brought for free until next Monday to the incinerator at Barron County Waste to Energy in Almena.

Financial donations are accepted at Mosaic Telecom sites. Checks should be made out to “Mosaic Telecom” and include “Disaster Relief Barron County Event” on the memo line.

A helpful website for those seeing information about tornado clean-up can be found here.