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Severe storms knock out power, road access to Winchester family for more than 24 hoursSubmitted: 07/22/2016

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WINCHESTER - Just a short walk from Kristin Cibelli's parents' deck stand--or rather lie--uprooted trees and twisted fences.

"I've never seen any damage like that in the 48 years I've been coming up here," Cibelli said.

Cibelli woke up to Thursday morning's heavy rains and winds around 5:30 a.m.  The storm finally passed over the Winchester area and the family went out to look over the damage.

"Adrenaline definitely was flowing," Cibelli said.


But what wasn't flowing was electricity or any traffic on their rural road near Rock Lake. Storms packing straight-line winds around 60 miles an hour ripped down trees and power lines at the end of Cibelli's driveway.

"We went into taking-care-of-neighbors mode," Cibelli said. "Making sure we went down to every neighbor that we could get to north of here."

But to get there, Kristin and her family had to hop on their boats. Trees blocked any escape via car for about 24 hours.

"Chairs and all these tables were in the water," Cibelli's mother, Penny Klotz, said.

Klotz helped build the house where the family stays about 15 years ago. She says the boat travel was a challenge, but she's thankful the house wasn't damaged and her neighbors weren't hurt.

"That's what you see on television all the time is the tree comes down, goes crash on the house, but it was nice that it missed all of our structures," Klotz said.

"We definitely think guardian angels were watching over," Cibelli said.

As of Friday afternoon, when temperatures surpassed 90 degrees, the family continues to wait for the power company to look over their lines.

"Yes, [I'm looking forward to] air conditioning, hot water, laundry machine. Those are things that will definitely be appreciated," Cibelli said.

Bayfield Electric provides power for the Winchester area. The company told Cibelli it could take through the weekend to restore power to all the customers in the northern Vilas County area.

Story By: Lane Kimble

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