RESOURCES: Tornado recovery continues for residents in Rusk Coun - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

RESOURCES: Tornado recovery continues for residents in Rusk County


Rusk County (WQOW) - Families and businesses in northwestern Wisconsin are still recovering after an EF-3 tornado hit Rusk and Barron counties in mid-May, killing one person and injuring 25 others.

Rusk County emergency officials said clean-up and rebuilding efforts have been slowed by weather, insurance issues and limited access to contractors.

In a press release, officials said the Donation Center in Barron County will be closing on July 29. They said the application deadline for SBA financial assistance is August 11.

Reminders and updated resources for those impacted:

  • The Donation Center in Barron County will be closing on July 29th. It is available to provide Rusk County storm-affected residents with needed items (clothing, food, toiletries, furniture, cleaning supplies, pet supplies, and more):
    • Located at the Warehouse next to the former ReStore Building in Cameron, 309 N 1st Street, Cameron, WI 54822. Call (715) 790-4308 for more info.
  • The Donation Center will operate until July 29:
    • Saturdays, Sundays & Mondays: CLOSED
    • Tuesdays & Thursdays: Open 2pm - 7pm
    • Wednesdays, Fridays: Open 10am - 5pm
    • Changes to the dates/times of operation will be posted on the Living Water Lutheran Church Facebook Page. For questions regarding the Donation Center please send a private Facebook message to Living Water Lutheran Church.
  • Residents and businesses affected can apply for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), Application deadline is August 11:
    • Loan applications can be completed online at: disaster
    • Individuals and businesses may also obtain information and loan applications by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955.
      • Community members who are deaf or hard-of-hearing may call 1-800-877- 8339 or email
  • Owner-occupied households impacted by the storm may be eligible for grant funds, made available through the State of Wisconsin, to make necessary repairs or pay for required insurance deductibles.
  • Homeowners, whose homes were totaled by the storm, may be eligible for a 5 year forgivable loan to assist in the home replacement. Homeowners who have already made improvements to their home may be eligible for reimbursement of costs.
  • Businesses that sustained damaged may be eligible for loan financing through a business loan fund targeted to assist businesses with necessary financing. Owner-occupied households and businesses needing financial assistance to make repairs or rebuild due to the storms impact should contact Kim Gifford at Northwest Regional Planning Commission at 715-635-2197.
  • The Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority has provided short-term housing assistance for families displaced from their home due to the storm. Persons needing reimbursement or financial assistance in short-term housing should contact Mariann Jones at 715-635-2197.
  • For those needing immediate financial assistance due to lost or not-suitable housing as a result of the storm, a few sources are potentially available. WHEDA emergency funds are being administered through the Northwest Regional Planning Commission (715) 635-2197 and Workforce Resource has emergency funds (primarily for families with children) (855) 792-5439.
  • Monetary assistance is available to qualified storm-impacted residents towards either: o Monthly mortgage expense for the primary residence that was damaged by the tornado o Rental cost of temporary housing due to displacement from the primary residence Relief assistance is limited to $1,000 per applicant per household. 

  • Those in agricultural community with damage and in need of assistance should be in contact with local Farm Service Agency/USDA office to see if assistance is available to them. Ladysmith (715) 532-3786 or Barron (715) 537-5645. For damage to conservation structure or fencing also contact Rusk County Land & Water Conservation at (715) 532-2162.
  • Rusk County Health and Human Services may be available to assist residents within their regular scope of programs, or can direct you to other assistance. (715) 532-2299
  • For assistance or concerns with insurance, contact the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) at 1-800-236-8517 or at

Questions or additional assistance regarding Recovery Resources and Efforts can be directed to the Rusk County Emergency Management office 715.532.2121 or Rusk County Economic Development office 715.532.2257

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