APPLETON - "I have never seen so much devastation. Never. And I've lived here 24 years," said Georgia Wolf of Appleton. Wolf was describing the damage in her own front yard and the damage she'd seen across Outagamie County thanks to Wednesday morning's storms.
Wolf told FOX 11 she had no idea the storm would be so bad, she never heard tornado sirens go off.
Wolf lives on Weiland Avenue in Appleton, which was part of the path of destruction carved by the storm.
Trees took the brunt of it, some landing on homes.
"I heard a crack and I kind of knew the big tree in my backyard was falling and I heard it hit the house," said Scott Schroeder.
Luckily, Schroeder's house received little damage, but the tree did take down a power line.
Blocks away at Northland Avenue and Richmond Street, power lines and poles were down too.
It all left Schroeder, his neighbors and some close businesses in the dark. They were still in the dark late Wednesday evening.
"They have to fix some other places that are worse off before they can restore power here,' said Schroeder.
"Power? They say two days, maybe? You take it for granted, you really take it for granted until you don't have it," said Wolf.
Things as simple as charging a cell phone or cooling off in the A/C weren't possible.
"We've been working since this morning, so you get a little dehydrated and you're sweating because it's hot, so you need to stay replenished," remarked Nicole Marmes.
So people made other plans like staying with family or going to a business with power.
"Can't open my fridge, you know? I'm going out for supper tonight, woo hoo! So that's about the only thing that's good about it," said Wolf.
And the Red Cross set up three emergency shelters across Outagamie County.
At Parkview Elementary School in New London there's food, water, air conditioning and 30 beds. Even if you just need to charge a phone, stop by.
"It's very important because people need a place to go and need to know that there's someone there to help when they're in need," said shelter supervisor Sharon Holt.
Back on Weiland Avenue people told us they'll be all right, but the neighborhood won't be quite the same.
"It's weird to see open space, because there's usually big, old trees on this street," said Schroeder.
Emergency management officials said people should prepare to be without power for three days. They recommend using flashlights instead of candles to avoid fire risk and when in doubt throw away any perishable food.
After almost 80 years, a piece of naval history is on its way home. A model of the Japanese luxury liner Hikawa Maru is being packed up in Manitowoc and returned to Japan.
Visitors to Green Bay's Neville Public Museum will soon see hours slashed. The county-owned attraction is cutting access starting the first of the year.
An 11-foot-long model of the Japanese passenger liner Hikawa Maru is being sent back to Japan after 34 years at the Wisconsin Maritime Museum in Manitowoc.
Area volunteers are making a difference in the community this holiday season. At this time of the year, many people are looking for ways to help their neighbors. The Salvation Army is one of the many places where you can do just that.
For the second year in a row, St. Norbert College could house overflow of homeless people from the St. John the Evangelist shelter in Green Bay.
A memorial fund has been created for a Grand Chute firefighter killed in a weekend car crash.