Wednesday tornado updates from Wadena
Here are Wednesday's developments as compiled by the Wadena Pioneer Journal:
Today marks the beginning of the demolition phase in town. Most city tree removal is finished, and now some structures will begin coming down and debris hauled, said Police Chief Bruce Uselman.
Employees at Minnesota State Community and Technical College -- Wadena are asked to report to work on Wednesday, June 23, at their regular work times. Employees should park in the south parking lot and enter the college through the S-6 entrance. For updates on developments at the college, go to www.minnesota.edu and click on the Wadena banner at the top of the page.
Summer courses at Minnesota State Community and Technical College --Wadena, which suffered substantial damage in a tornado on June 17, will resume at locations around the area beginning Wednesday, June 23.
Courses will be held at their regularly scheduled times at these locations:
- General studies classes at the Wadena elementary school
- Anthropology, anatomy and physiology classes at the Central Lakes College campus in Staples
- Computer classes at Verndale High School
- Cosmetology and Adult Basic Education classes will resume Monday, June 28, on the M State - Wadena campus.
For more information, please go to the M State Web site at www.minnesota.edu.
Emergency Management Director Scott McKellep said FEMA officials toured the city first and are trying to get a handle on uninsured losses. He said if the losses are high enough, there could be a presidential disaster declaration followed by federal resources. McKellep gave a website to visit: www.disasterassistance.gov and then click on disaster relief.
Wadena/Otter Tail County Solid Waste Director Mike Hanan said there's great progress to report at the old airport site. He reminded people to "do the best job you can" sorting items. He asked people hauling their own waste to secure the loads better. Hours at the old airport are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
There will be a collection for household hazardous waste at the Friendly Rider Transit Building behind the workforce center from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday.
The Wadena County Transfer Station will be open for household garbage, electronics, etc. from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Follow the sign on west U.S. Highway 10 that says recycling center.
There will be a rolloff container for glass at the old airport, free of charge.
An item from the Raymond Curtis farm in Deer Creek was found in Cass Lake near Bemidji.
As of Tuesday, there were 446 volunteers, for a running total of 1,325 volunteers. If you'd like to volunteer to help, call 211 from a land line phone or call (800) 543-7709 from a cell phone. If you need volunteer help -- and there is a surplus of workers now -- call (218) 640-3432. You don't have to do it all yourself. People want to help.
Police Chief Bruce Uselman asked residents and contractors not to run chainsaws or heavy equipment after 10 p.m., because after long days of work, residents with poor noise barriers (if at all) in their homes need the sleep.
Uselman asked people to behave courteously. "For some it's a circus. But for us, it's not a circus. It's our community."
Public Works Director Ron Bucholz reported the city is making an effort to clear the streets of nails and other debris that it puncturing tires. It's bringing in a big, sweeping magnet to pick up the debris.
Power should be restored to everyone in Wadena city. If you are still without power, call (218) 631-7712. Also, if you had an electrician repair your service, remind him or her to file an affidavit in water and light's office in order to get service reestablished.
Planning and Zoning Director Byron Larson said state building inspectors are coming to survey the damage and assess the safety of structures. "They're not coming in to inspect your house and say, ooh that railing should be an inch and a half higher. That's not why they're here."
The Initiative Foundation has established an online donation pool with matching donors. Go to www.givemn.org and click on the Wadena tornado relief fund link.
An insurance regulator from the state said he's not happy with some of the insurance settlement offers. If you feel you need the state's help, call (800) 657-3602.