Taylor County man loses shop in Wednesday’s storm

Matt Bunkelman of Whittlesey saw the roof of his shop ripped off by wind
Published: Dec. 16, 2021 at 4:38 PM CST
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WHITTLESEY, Wis. (WSAW) - At around 10 p.m. Wednesday night, Matt Bunkelman and his girlfriend Diana watched from their house as a wind storm blew over top of them.

“We were standing in the house watching and we watched our shop disappear,” said Bunkelman.

When they assessed the damage the next day, they found the roof of the shop sitting in their field a quarter mile north. The shop was left in shambles with wind blowing snow onto all remaining inside. Bunkelman’s neighbor Rodney Mahner looked out to see the destruction Thursday morning.

“This morning when I looked across the road and saw my neighbor’s roof for his shop, I knew there was significant damage,” said Mahner.

Mahner, a weather watcher and life-long resident of the area, drove around town to see other remnants of the storm. One house on the west side of town had its roof ripped off and thrown into their shed. Several tree branches littered the roads of town. Some trees that Mahner said had stood since he was a kid were completely uprooted.

Mahner said it’s one of the top-two worst storms he’s seen. Bunkelman said it’s the worst he’s expereinced.

“I’ve been living here since 1995 and I’ve never had a windstorm this terrible,” said Bunkelman.

This isn’t Bunkelman’s first experience losing property. He had his whole barn burn down in 2018 and had snow damage his barn in 2019. Bunkelman says that because of the amount of the significant damages, he’s been left uninsured.

“It’s been a rough few years,” said Bunkelman.

Bunkelman had friends, neighbors and even strangers show up to his property Thursday to help get what’s left from the shed tucked away and taken inside. He says a lot of the major clean-up will come once the weather warms up.

Bunkelman’s girlfriend set-up a GoFundMe page to help offset the damage. Bunkelman says any help is appreciated.

“If you could, please help. We’re struggling,” said Bunkelman. ‘We want to build it back. It’s my shop. It’s kind of a livelihood thing that you work on with family and friends.”

You can find the GoFundMe page here.

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