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Tornado confirmed: Marinette County residents clean up after Wednesday's severe weather

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Posted at 8:29 PM, Jun 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-16 21:29:10-04

MIDDLE INLET (NBC 26) — People in Marinette County are some of the many still dealing with the aftermath of Wednesday night's storm.

The National Weather Serviceconfirmed a tornado in the Town of Silver Cliff in western Marinette County,

Fallen trees surround Michelle Lepkowski's Middle Inlet home. Lepkowski said her family was home Wednesday night when high winds and rain entered the area.

"We went down in the basement, because I had my grandson here too," Lepkowski said. "Then we came up and saw all the destruction."

A barn on their property is a total loss. The building completely collapsed during the storm.

Debris from a silo is scattered across the street and in an adjacent field. There were three silos before the storm; now only two stand.

"You know, what do you say? It's crazy just how fast it came and did all this damage, and it was in and out within 10 minutes," Lepkowski said.

Local insurance companies are receiving many claims related to the storm that swept across Northeast Wisconsisn.

Carol Dollhopf, Green Bay Insurance Center personal lines agent and department manager, said homeowners should keep all receipts related to the storm damage.

"If you go out and buy something to make a temporary repair, do what you have to do, keep track of your slips. Keep track of your time," Dollhopf said.

After verifying that their home is safe to live in, Dollhopf said homeowners also need to stop further damage from happening. For example, Dollhopf recommends putting a tarp over a roof with holes or boarding up a damaged window.

Taking photos and videos of the damage is also suggested.

"Document, document document is always a good idea," Dollhopf said.

Lepkowski said she's got that part covered for her insurance claim.

Overall, she said she's just grateful her family is safe.

"Thank God the house is still standing and all of us are fine. Our animals our fine," Lepkowski said. "So it could've been worse."

According to American Family Insurance, many homeowners insurance policies do cover tornado damage.

While floods and earthquakes require special coverage, tornadoes do not. The insurance industry classifies tornadoes as windstorms, which are covered under most policies.

Some insurance policies can even cover temporary housing expenses while a home is being rebuilt or repaired.