Colby Family Still Cleaning Up Destruction Following Thursday's Storms

By: Al Knox - Email
By: Al Knox - Email

The storms that moved through most of area last week have left some people still cleaning up. That’s especially true in the Colby area, where many farms were destroyed, and trees knocked over.

While people on the East Coast are worrying about Hurricane Sandy, people right here in our area are trying to cope with a storm that destroyed their livelihoods.

Last weeks severe storms downed trees, and nailed parts of central Wisconsin. One of the worst hit areas was Colby, and the Schmitt farm, located on Huckleberry Road, just outside of town.
The dairy farm was hit hard by heavy winds, many of which knocked over barns, and carried away heavy machinery into fields. That devastation is still being felt today.

Terry Schmitt, owner of the family farm, is still cleaning up the chaos four days later. "I just lost my living. As of today, my cows are being sold because I have no way of feeding them. I’ve got them in a barn but I can’t get the feed out of my silos. Feed for them is expensive, so were going to sell the cows today and make a decision at a later date. It is just too late in the year to rebuild, even if I do rebuild.”

Schmitt says he was actually inside of one of the silos once the storms began. He said he fell 15 feet to the ground, just before it collapsed. He also says the wind blew his largest barn down, killing twelve calves and nine dairy cows, a huge loss to his livestock.

The Schmitt family has been working since Friday to clean up as much of the devastation as possible. Family and friends have spent countless hours helping move wood and other debris.

Terry says he is not sure if he is going to rebuild the barns. He says thankfully all of his property was insured.

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