Cleanup efforts continue in Chippewa County after EF-3 tornado

Local News

Clean-up is still underway after last Tuesday’s EF-3 tornado ripped through the town of Wheaton.

Volunteers spent the weekend helping restore order to the area and area farmer, Jeffrey Pagenkopf, says he appreciates the help.

“It’s wonderful,” Pagenkopf said. “It is unbelievable how the places around the community have stepped up and brought us food and water and kept us fed. The changeover of the help, I stay out here day and night and it is wonderful that other people do that with me.”

Volunteers say helping out is just what community spirit is all about.

“This is my community,” said volunteer Heidi Vanderloop. “I work for 4-H in Chippewa County, I work with extension and these are families and friends of our programs that really need our help in this time.”

Volunteer, Jason Benson said he felt like it was his duty to go out and help.

“This is my community,” Benson said. “This is where I’m from. The Town of Wheaton has always been my home.”

Benson says volunteers have come in from all across the region to lend a helping hand over the last several days.

“I’ve seen people here from Minnesota,” he said. “I’ve seen friends of mine from Baldwin come over here to help. I’ve seen multiple relief efforts come from across our state.”

Pagenkopf says that all of the people in the area are grateful for the support.

“It’s too hard to say thank you to everybody, but I wish I could,” he said. “I really appreciate it all.”

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