APPLETON - While the cleanup efforts in Outagamie County continue, the damage estimates are also continuing to climb.
Outagamie County's estimate has nearly doubled since last Friday.
Officials continue to say that cleanup will take weeks and it will be the new normal for public works crews and many homeowners for some time to come.
"Had a big cedar tree down on the house, another tree on the garage, one between the house and the garage and trees all over," said Peter Gidder of Hortonville.
Fifty in all by the Gidder's count. And he's piling them the only place he and his neighbors can. On the side of the road.
"There are some areas where we can't even see the houses because the brush piles are so high," said Hortonville Police Chief Michael Sullivan.
Chief Sullivan says the damage from the storm was so bad some city streets are still nearly impassible and he says the storm has forever changed the face of downtown Hortonville.
"We used to be able to drive down Main Street in Hortonville and it had a nice crown on the trees."
The story in many other parts of the county is similar. Crews are working overtime to cleanup from last week's storms which spawned six tornadoes. Damage estimates in Outagamie County climbing are more than $30 million. County Executive Tom Nelson says private homes and businesses suffered $25 million in damage, with $6 million in damage to the public sector. It's the public sector number officials are watching.
"We need to get to $7.9 million in order to quality for FEMA assistance, so naturally we are tracking all of the numbers very, very closely."
Appleton crews began cleanup south of College Avenue Monday and expect to hit the north side of the city next week. They're encouraging homeowners to bring brush to the two city yard waste sites or the county. Public Works officials say crews will be out for weeks picking up brush curbside and for months cutting down damaged trees on the terraces. Nelson says the county is also waiting for Governor Walker to decide if the National Guard will be activated to help in the cleanup.
While residents like Gidder chart their progress by the wheelbarrow full.
"It's tough for an old guy."
State Emergency Management officials are working with the county to help coordinate clean-up efforts.
Officials say the county is eligible for reimbursement of 70 percent of clean-up costs, if it doesn't qualify for federal help.
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