Storm hits, cleanup begins
Many trees down in area
Wednesday, August 07, 2013 7:00 PM
MARINETTE - The sounds of high winds, heavy rain and thunder early Wednesday morning were quickly replaced by the sounds of chainsaws, woodchippers and heavy duty vehicles.
A broken tree branch narrowly missed a home on Riverside Avenue in Marinette during Wednesday's storm.
Downed trees were also reported in Menominee but most of the damage was centered in a five-block area of Marinette between Church and Stanton streets and Main Street and Carney Boulevard.
Joshua and Emily Jezowski and their four children, David, 8, Micah, 6, Isabella, 3 and Josephine, 18-months, were asleep in their home in the 1300 block of Prescott Street in Marinette when the storm rolled in.
"We heard this whooshing sound about 12:20 a.m., all of a sudden the rain started pelting our window and we knew something wasn't right," said Emily. "We both jumped out of bed and went to grab the kids. Before we even got to their rooms the whooshing had stopped."
Joshua looked out the window and noticed the large tree in front of their house had been uprooted.
"I just thank God for the protection that it didn't fall right on our house," said Emily. "We just thank God he kept our family safe. For that we're very thankful."
Within minutes neighbors were out checking on each other to make sure everyone was all right.
A tree in the Jezowski's backyard fell on an electrical line and knocked out power. That was just one of hundreds of calls made to Wisconsin Public Service. Later in the morning more calls were made, including to their insurance agent to see if their policy would cover the cost of tree removal.
"I'm very tired," said Emily. "I'll probably take a nap this afternoon once our power is up."
For 8-year-old David Jezowski, the storm was no big deal and he said he wasn't one bit afraid.
"I woke up for a minute and it was pitch black and I thought that was strange because I didn't see my night light," he said. "But then I went back to sleep."
Later in the morning he and his brother Micah were right in the thick of the action conquering the downed tree.
"It's great," he said. "You can climb on it, there's plenty of stuff to climb on."
City workers got their chance to conquer their share of fallen trees as well but their efforts were all work and no play.
"I got called shortly before 1 a.m. and I called in a crew of six guys and we've been cutting up and chipping up trees," said Marinette Street Superintendent Mike Swiatnicki. "Now we're starting to take care of some of the stumps and busted up sidewalks and try to get them squared away."
The sounds of chainsaws could be heard for hours - fortunately none of the big trees landed on any homes. There was however a vehicle on Gilbert street that got struck by a fallen branch.
Jenny Short from Wisconsin Public Service said at the peak about 1,500 customers in Marinette, Menominee and Peshtigo were without power between 12:30 a.m. and 2:30 a.m.
"The numbers kind of spiked again, too, as people woke up in the morning and realized their power was out," she said. "We saw some more outages then from about 5 a.m."
Marinette County Emergency Management monitored the storm damage and reported that the Viking, a former carferry moored on the Menominee River, had broken loose during the storm. Both Marinette and Menominee fire departments responded along with two tugboats. The tugs were able to bring the ship under control and prevent any damage from occurring.
Emergency Management is waiting for a dollar figure of damage to determine if the city will be eligible for state disaster assistance.