Sunday storm causes chaos in the Chippewa Valley - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Sunday storm causes chaos in the Chippewa Valley


Chippewa County (WQOW)-  Sunday evening, storms hit the Chippewa Valley, ripping trees right from the ground at Prairie View Cemetery in Lake Hallie.

"We had a few trees in the upper part of our cemetery that were down, and as I traveled east, I noted we had approximately four or five of them bigger ash trees that were knocked over, and closer in spectrum led to roughly about eight, we have about 10 that are totally damaged," said Michael Downey, the vice president of the cemetery.

Downey said all the damage came from more than just the storm. 

"With the amount of rain we've had in the past couple of days, I believe that the ground is saturated and it just tipped them right on over," Downey said.

Douglas Harshman has been cleaning up fallen trees for 10 years, and said this is not a job for a newbie. 

"On a scale of 1 to 10, we're looking at close to a 6.5 or a 7. It's easy clean up, but it's also dangerous, not for your beginner sawyers," Harshman said.

Cleanup in a cemetery, poses its own problems. 

"The headstones being underneath all the logs, we've got to make sure that we don't damage the headstones anymore that's already there, so it's a pretty trying process," said Harshman. 

Trees fell or were pulled up by the roots all over Chippewa County, hitting cars, and homes, all thanks to winds topping at about 70 m.p.h. 

One man even watched a tree topple onto his fence, from his front porch. 

"All of the sudden it was just there, (the) tree was just there, didn't even hear it crack or fall or whatever, just all of the sudden (it) just ended up," said John Young, a Chippewa Falls resident. 

Downey said he's not sure how much the clean up will cost, but hopes it will be done in a few days. 

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