Oconto County "one stop shop" storm recovery resource event

MOUNTAIN, Wis. (WBAY) – Many people in the community are still dealing with storm damage and aftermath following the storm that hit on Friday, July 19 and Saturday, July 20.

Storm damage in Mountain following storms on Friday, July 19 and Saturday, July 20, 2019. (WBAY Photo)

Mountain in Oconto County is hosting a two day, multi-agency resource center for those who are still in need of any assistance.

It's intended to meet the needs of people still getting back on their feet after the devastating storms.

This "one-stop shop" of recovery resources is Tuesday, July 30, and Wednesday, July 31, from noon to 6:00 p.m. It is located at the Mountain Community Center, 13412 Highways 32 & 64.

Information and agencies are available, including the American Red Cross, Oconto County Department of Public Health, veterinarians, the DNR, Christian Food Pantry, and many more resources for crisis counseling, financial support, and animal assistance.

There will also be shovels, rakes and other cleanup supplies outside the door for people to take, free of charge. "It's been steady, and we've passed out probably 100 different things today -- shovels, rakes, that kind of thing. Blue tarps are a favorite," Red Cross volunteer Russ Van Sikke said.

The Red Cross says people coming Tuesday seemed to be looking for the same thing.

"There's apparently been a hard time for people getting enough contractors and loggers to get the debris and everything off of their homes or their garages or their outbuildings," Van Sikke said.

The Red Cross organized this resource center. It looked at numbers from similar storm relief events it's held in the past to determine how many supplies to bring, and so far Tuesday volunteers say the demand is more than they planned for. People were lined up at the doors before they opened at noon.

Larry Mitsch told us, "We have about 10-and-a-half acres, and for the most part four of the acres are totally leveled."

Hundreds of red pines came down across Mitsch's driveway, making it inaccessible.

"Luckily I was able to get a hold of a service to come and clear the driveway. It's about three football fields long," he said. "I have a couple contractors I'm working with right now to find out about cleanup, and we'll take it one step at a time."

But some organizations are here to address the storm's aftermath that can't be seen with the naked eye.

Chris Hanke with Oconto County Health and Human Services said, "One is, You sleep better at night if it's not on your mind, like any type of incident or issue; and secondly, you can help others in your community once you do process it. Maybe you can lend a hand to those who are in need."

Hope Animal Assisted Crisis Response brought comfort dogs to help with the healing process.

"They're dealing with so much, and everywhere they turn they've got to take care of things. They're waiting for information, they might have lost a home, a loved one or something. And dogs are really a sense of normalcy in life," Laura Fruci, the Minnesota state coordinator for the group, said.