STANLEY, Wis. (WEAU) – Cleanup efforts are ongoing in Stanley following an EF2 tornado according to the National Weather Service. The tornado hit the town Wednesday night around 9 p.m.
The NWS said winds reached up to 120 miles per hour. Stanley resident Nicholas Barden came close to losing everything during the storm.
“We were going to go down to the basement and to get to the basement we had to go through my garage,” he said. “So my outside door here, my daughter unlatched it, my son went to pull it open and we watched the tornado take the garage, right in front of us.”
In addition to destroying his garage, the storm damaged his roof and broke four windows. Despite the close encounter and the cleanup and rebuild to follow, Barden is in good spirits.
“We got good family, good friends, you know, that you got to look positive,” he said. “It’s all replaceable. Our lives are still good. We’re still walking around, still talking so, you know, life just goes forward.”
Barden isn’t the only one carrying a positive attitude despite having their lives uprooted. Stanley Mayor Alan Haas said his community is staying strong, in large part thanks to the generosity of others.
“Things are going really well,” he said. “We’ve had a lot of people show up to donate their time. Yesterday was remarkable how many people shown up to help. Today is really well also.”
“It’s pretty nice, you know, knowing that we got a strong community that actually will come out and help out when it needs to be helped out,” Barden said.
“Neighbors are helping neighbors pick up the garbage, pick up the branches, so as far as the community, it’s a great community and everybody’s pitching in,” Haas said.
As of 6 p.m. Friday, Xcel Energy estimated 760 customers in the Stanley-Boyd area are without power. It expects to restore power around 1:30 a.m. Sunday.
There will be a mass assistance and recovery center set up at the Stanley Community Center from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday. Multiple Chippewa County agencies will be there to assist people.
Donations are still needed and appreciated, city officials said, and right now the greatest need is for money. People looking to donate money can do so at Forward Bank, located at 240 S. Broadway St., and the Stanley Relief Fund or by sending them to the Stanley Community Association’s Venmo at sca54768. Checks can be made out to “Stanley Relief Fund.”