Tornado causes damage in Stanley

Published: Dec. 16, 2021 at 7:00 PM CST
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STANLEY, Wis. (WEAU) - Stanley was one of many western Wisconsin communities affected by Wednesday’s severe storm.

The National Weather Service confirmed a tornado touched down in the city, which residents said hit the community Wednesday night.

The Stanley Fire Department said nobody was seriously injured or killed in the storm but it left plenty of damage.

Jody Halterman said he started hearing storm sirens around 9 p.m. At the same time, the Stanley volunteer firefighter’s pager started beeping. Before he could help his neighbors, the worst hit.

“This came in so quickly I did not have time to respond there,” he said. “Within a matter of 10 seconds, this is the devastation behind me that we had.”

The storm destroyed his deck and gazebo.

“This was a loud, almost an explosion,” Halterman said.

His shed was also damaged. His house had broken windows.

“It was almost like a bellow,” he said. “You felt it suck in and blow out.”

Because Haltmeran has a backup generator, he has power. For many, that wasn’t the case throughout Thursday.

That’s why Trinity Vineyard Church Outreach Leader Beth Peterson spent her day cooking.

“We have heat. We have electricity,” she said. “We are offering a warm place to be, a place to charged your cell phone so family can get in touch with you and a place to grab a bowl of soup.”

The American Red Cross also housed five people in a temporary shelter Wednesday night. The organization said it will also house people Thursday night at Stanley’s community center in Chapman Park.

The Stanley Theater opened its doors to anyone needing help offering hot dogs and hot chocolate.

It’s that community spirit, which has Halterman, someone who’s usually doing the serving himself, proud to be a Stanley native.

“Watching everybody come together is outstanding, overjoyed,” he said. “It’s just a feeling that is very hard to explain.”

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