Right now, more than 400 U.P. residents are still without power after a massive storm swept through the region late last night and into the early hours of Friday morning.
One area was hit especially hard.
ABC 10’s Rick Tarsitano has that story.
Humboldt Township residents living on the south shore of Helen Lake received a rude awakening this morning.
“There were chairs and stuff blowing around on the deck, and all of a sudden the sky lit up. We could hear the wind. A lot of times people say during a tornado (which we don’t know if it was a tornado) it’s that freight train effect, but we didn’t hear it. We didn’t hear any trees coming down. We just heard a lot of wind and all of a sudden here’s the result,” explained Jim Kovala, a resident and board member of the Helen Lake Association.
The storm came through in a flash at about five o’clock this morning. In just a few minutes time, it did enough damage to uproot trees that fell onto houses and garages. Luckily, nobody was hurt, but just a few inches and it could have been a whole lot worse.
“We didn’t even recognize how bad the situation was until we got a little bit of daylight out here. The things that were concerning were that some people were trapped inside their homes. I don’t know exactly who and where, but that was the concern of the fire department and UPPCO,” Kovala added.
Fortunately, firefighters from Champion, Humboldt Township, and Republic Township were quick to cut through chaos, sawing away at fallen trees that had riddled the neighborhood, in order to free up roadways and help those in need.
Everyone pitched in, including UPPCO, who sent away for Wisconsin Public Service workers to aid in restoring power to more than 400 residents in the area. Their hope is to get everything back up and running sometime tonight. You can check their website (http://www.uppco.com/outagesummary/view/outagegrid.aspx), where they update their outages every fifteen minutes. UPPCO officials urge residents to stay away from downed power lines and notify them of any lines that have not yet been worked on at their hotline: 800-562-7809.
But no matter what happens, the resolve and perseverance of this tiny Lake Shore community is something to admire.
“We’re going to get the lines back up, not us, UPPCO’s going to get the lines back up, and we’re going to continue to have a great summer out here on Helen Lake. We always said, it just doesn’t get any better than Helen Lake,” smiled Kovala.