STANLEY (WQOW) – Many woke up to devastating damage after storms swept through the Chippewa Valley– and Stanley was particularly affected.
“I’ve never been through a tornado, ever,” said Stanley resident Ruby Brit. “In Georgia, we’ve had one every year, but I’ve never been in one or around one and never specifically inside.”
Power outages shutting down 75% of the city, extremely fast winds, Stanley begins to recover from a roar of storms.
“There was no time to go anywhere… It sounded like a freight train, it roared and rumbled,” said Stanley resident Richard Washburn.
And now a confirmation by the NWS as a tornado.
“It’s kind of one of those things that you just hear about, but you don’t really think it’s going to be something that you come across yourself,” said cleanup volunteer Adam Helmsing. .
When disaster struck, crews were ready to bring help to those who needed it most.
“It threw me against the wall and I was trying to get to Connor, and the window came in and I just walked through this room and dove on top of him, I figured when they find us they’ll would find us together,” Brit said.
Stanley Fire called for reinforcements and received assistance from the Chippewa County Fire Department.
“When our lights went out we started to spring into action and I didn’t even get two blocks and I was arrested because of the destruction I had already seen and the calls just went started coming,” said Jeff Ryba, captain of the Stanley Fire Department.
And they even saw help from those within their own community who were willing to lend a hand.
“People care about each other, they’ll watch out for you. They’ll go all the way to help you,” Helmsing said.
Stanley firefighters said they brought more than 80 volunteers to the community center to help clean up.
“It’s a community of helping others, that’s what it’s been like, that’s what I grew up in,” Ryba said.
Although the cleanup process is just beginning, crews believe it will go beyond Thursday.
Stanley firefighters said there were no serious injuries or fatalities reported.
The Stanley Community Building and Trinity Vineyard Church remain open for those in need of shelter or food.
To make a monetary donation to the community of Stanley, the Stanley Community Association established a relief fund at Forward Bank.