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UPDATE: Daylight reveals tornado damage in Cadott

Published: Jul. 22, 2020 at 7:46 AM CDT|Updated: Jul. 22, 2020 at 10:59 AM CDT
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CADOTT, Wis. (WEAU) - Hundreds of community members are out helping their neighbors cleanup the damage left behind from the tornado. Neighbors in Cadott say it left behind fallen trees, power outages, crushed vehicles and damaged buildings across town.

"I could see the wind whipping and we just started singing and praying as loud as we could," said Holly Craker of Cadott.

"All the sudden I see this big, black cloud and I high tailed to home as fast as I could go," said Deloris Honadel of Cadott.

St. Rose of Lima in Cadott took a hard hit from the storm, losing it’s roof and part of the building. An unfortunate loss that possibly protected a next door neighbor.

"We knew we were protected being next to a church, but we didn't realize we were that protected because that very well could have been the side of our house," said Craker.

Craker, who lives across the street from the church, says she is thankful everyone was safe and for the community's help cleaning up debris and other damages outside her home.

"The whole community's just come together. It's fantastic to see. We had like 10 guys in our yard this morning and I didn't know any of them."

Some neighbors have been out all night helping, like Kenneth Arneson Jr. of Cadott, who only got three hours of sleep.

"I can put my stuff on the back burner and help out everybody else."

People from the area were also giving out free meals since 7 a.m. at the Half-Way Bar to volunteers.

"We have a lot," said volunteer Alisha Woodford. "We've got plenty and we're going to have to go lunches all through tomorrow as well."

Volunteers were also out delivering water and sandwiches across town.

"I think everyone just kind of has a feeling that it's our responsibility to take care of each other," said Woodford.

Father William Felix of St. Rose of Lima says their church services will be moved to St. Joseph’s in Boyd until the church is repaired.

As the sun started to rise on Wednesday, homeowners in Cadott walked out their front door to assess the damage from Tuesday night’s tornado.

“The biggest trees I never expected to come down, were down,” one homeowner said. “You start looking to the side and see the devastation, a garage got moved into the alley, it’s just scary.”

Aside from uprooted trees and a garage pushed off of its foundation, one church also lost its roof. Debris from the roof was found more than one block away.

Another Cadott resident explained what it was like as the tornado moved in.

“Our grill went flying over to the neighbors and we thought ‘oh, it’s time to go.' Just before we got into the basement we watched the neighbor’s garage explode, we watched our garage move, it’s a bad storm and we were lucky to be in the basement,” he said.

As of Wednesday morning, many residents are still without power. It will be a long cleanup process. Stay with WEAU for the latest.

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