Disaster declared in Polk County after severe storm

Updated: July 21, 2019 12:25 AM

Authorities in Polk County, Wisconsin, have signed an emergency disaster declaration, after a strong storm caused significant damage to homes, cabins and utilities across the county.

Residents spent most of Saturday cleaning up downed trees and debris that came off of buildings. The area hit hardest is about 65 miles northeast of the Twin Cities.


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Thousands of people didn't have electricity overnight. As of 4 p.m. Saturday, Polk Burnett Electric Cooperative said 3,000 members were still without power and may be without power until sometime Sunday.

Steve Sherrard was in his home northwest of Balsam Lake Friday afternoon when the winds picked up.

"The rain just started going sideways and I looked outside and my flag took off, so I went downstairs," Sherrard said.

He spent 10 minutes in the his basement before finding his roof was gone.

"It was raining in my kitchen," he said.

Up the road, Nick and Cheryl Freer combed their property picking up dozens of pieces of debris after the roof of a nearby shed flew off in the storm.

"We're still realizing stuff we're missing, like 'oh that's gone,'" Cheryl Freer said.

The sliding glass door into their house also shattered. The family said no one was home at the time.


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Kirsten Swanson

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