Red Cross opens reception centers in wake of storms that knocked out power to thousands

Storm damage in the Fox Valley

OUTAGAMIE COUNTY — As We Energies crews worked to restore power to thousands of customers in the Fox Valley following destructive thunderstorms, officials with the American Red Cross on Sunday, July 21 offered an update on assistance available in the wake of the storms and extreme heat.

We Energies officials said Sunday, crews restored power to more than 60,000 customers since Friday evening.

Officials said crews from Wisconsin and neighboring states would continue to work around the clock until all customers were restored.

Below is a statement released by We Energies Sunday night:

“We Energies continues to recover from one of the most powerful storms to the Fox Valley in the past 20 years. Winds above 80 miles an hour caused extensive damage to our networks. We’re rebuilding circuits in hard hit areas in and around Appleton. This storm was so strong that as it continued east it took out power to more than 800,000 utility customers in Michigan.

We Energies workers have successfully restored power to more than 60,000 customers since Friday evening. Crews from other Midwest utilities have been arriving to help. We will have almost 1,000 field and support personnel dedicated to power restoration tomorrow and we expect to continue to make significant progress.

We thank our customers for their patience and our crews appreciate the prayers for their safety that have also been conveyed in calls and social media messages.”

The National Weather Service confirmed nine tornadoes in the state between Friday evening and Saturday morning. On the positive side, Saturday’s storms broke the heatwave in Wisconsin, with Sunday highs forecast in the upper 70s and low 80s under partly to mostly sunny skies.

Red Cross officials said volunteers across the state would continue to work with emergency officials on the immediate needs of people affected by the damaging storms and extreme heat.

Outagamie County: The Red Cross partnered with emergency officials to run a reception center at 3030 E. Goodland Drive, Appleton until 8 p.m. Sunday, with water, snacks, and a place to recharge phones and medical devices. A partner site was opened with similar resources in Grand Chute at Town Hall, 1901 W. Grand Chute Boulevard until midnight Sunday.

Waupaca County: The Red Cross partnered with emergency officials to run a reception center at 1222 Fulton Street, Waupaca until 8 p.m. Sunday, with water, snacks, and a place to recharge phones and medical devices. A site was also opened at the Waupaca Expo Center, 187 Grand Seasons Drive, Waupaca, until 8 p.m. Sunday, and from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday.

Polk County: The Red Cross partnered with emergency officials to run a reception center at Unity High School, 1908 WI-46, Balsam Lake, until 10 p.m. Sunday, with water, snacks, and a place to recharge phones and medical devices. The Red Cross planned to re-open this site at 6 a.m. Monday.

Barron County: Red Cross volunteers were working with at least two families on the impact of winds, hail, and possible tornado damage from Friday’s extreme storms. A partner reception center was opened for Sunday during the day at Red Cedar Church, 1701 W. Allen Street, Rice Lake.

Menominee County/Reservation: Red Cross volunteers were providing water and snacks to four shelters opened and operated by the county and Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin:

• Middle Village – Maehnowesekiyah – Opened from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday
• Keshena Area – Menominee Tribal Recreation Center – Opened from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday
• South Branch – South Branch Community Center – Opened from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday
• Zoar Area – Zoar Ceremonial Building – Opened from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday
• Zoar/Neopit Area – Menominee Tribal School – Opened from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday

Manitowoc County: The Red Cross opened a reception center with water, snacks, and power at 2:30 p.m. Sunday until 8 p.m. at the Mishicot Fire Department, 214 S. Main Street.

Winnebago County: YMCA’s were opened to the community for showers on a day by day basis. On Sunday, the downtown YMCA was scheduled to be open until 6 p.m., Neenah-Menasha until 3 p.m., Heart of the Valley until 3 p.m., and Fox Cities West until 3 p.m. Photo ID is required.

Portage County: The Red Cross opened a community-run center at Rosholt Fire Department, 9075 State Hwy 66, Rosholt.

Dane County: The Red Cross closed a cooling shelter at the Alliant Energy Center, with power restored for most, if not all, of Madison.

Milwaukee County: Dial 2-1-1 for the nearest cooling site to escape the extreme heat.

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