RUSK COUNTY - At least four government teams assessed damage on the ground in Barron and Rusk counties on Wednesday.
Those teams saw destruction which will reach into the millions of dollars in damage. Tuesday night's tornadoes killed one person and injured 25 more.
In Conrath in Rusk County, John Polak had to pause every few minutes while recounting his story of surviving the tornado. Freight trains rumbled behind his home, making it hard to hear.
But Polak said the tornado was at least four times as loud as any train.
"A noise like you've never, ever heard before," he said. "It was a horrific sound of stuff getting [broken]."
Polak and family members rode out the tornado in their basement.
"We were just stuck in the basement, because everything from our upstairs fell down in the entryway to get out of the basement," he said. "I just started throwing [stuff] out of the way until I got out."
Polak's home by the train tracks, near the constant rumbling, has been in the family since 1923. On Thursday, sounds of cleanup help from family and friends were the loudest.
"There's so much to do, and you just don't know where to start," he said.
The home was the only one completely destroyed in Rusk County, which suffered almost $400,000 of residential damage.
"There's nothing. Everything's gone," Polak said.
While heavy winds led to home damage, heavy rains led to overflowing rivers.
Main Creek closed roads near Conrath and sunk bridges in Tony. The riverbed couldn't hold Pokegama Creek near Cameron in Barron County. Barron and Rusk counties remain under an official state of emergency.
Gov. Scott Walker toured storm damage on Wednesday in Chetek. He was back in northern Wisconsin Thursday.
"This is, I think in terms of outright damage, both physical, in terms of what it did to the landscape, but also, in terms of the damage of destroying people's homes," Walker said. "I think it's the worst I've seen as governor."
RHINELANDER - Oneida County needs more foster care homes. Right now, there are nine licensed foster homes in the area, most of which are full according to the county's social services department.
Foster Care Coordinator Rachel Nelson says that in Oneida County there are 24 children currently living in foster homes. The department participated in a statewide foster care recruitment project last fall, and discovered just how great the need is.
RHINELANDER - A snow storm caught Hanson's Garden Village in Rhinelander off guard last weekend and collapsed a greenhouse. Now that spring weather is here, Hanson's is ready to move forward by making some adjustments. "We got by for 25 years doing what we were doing," said Hanson's Garden Village Co-owner Brent Hanson. Last weekend's spring snow storm set back Hanson's. "We thought we were ahead of schedule having that greenhouse nice and filled," said Hanson's Manager Beth Hanson.
"One bad storm and there you go. Things happen," said Brent. The storm collapsed a greenhouse holding thousands of plants. "For years we've gotten by with these lighter cheaper green houses," said Brent. "We'll be down a greenhouse for a little bit here," said Beth. Now Hanson's will only use sturdier and solid greenhouses so that collapses don't become a pattern.
Disclaimer: All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed and should be independently verified. Rockfleet Broadcasting / Northland Television, Inc. and By Request Web Designs shall not be held responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation, or misprints.