The most encouraging thing in the past week in this area is how families, neighbors, friends, and perfect strangers came together to help one another out in the wake of last Tuesday’s major storm.
That is also the least surprising aspect of the past week.
Anyone who has lived in this area for any length of time has come to know that is how it is done in small town, middle America.
It certainly was on display last week in this area, starting before the rain had even ended. With the power out in much of New Holstein and Kiel and many, many trees blown over in both communities—especially New Holstein—neighbors were checking on neighbors and family members were already gathering to start the clean-up process.
Police officers and firefighters were out immediately to keep people safe. Utility crews in New Holstein and Kiel were right behind them working to restore power. With the number of trees which came down in New Holstein it was nothing short of amazing that much of the community had power restored by 8 p.m. that night.
At daybreak on Wednesday the clean-up process began in earnest. It is a process which may not be completely done for weeks, but by the weekend a first-time visitor to New Holstein could drive down Wisconsin Avenue and perhaps not even know that anything had happened. It was an incredible transformation from just a few days earlier when streets were still blocked by fallen trees and mountains of tree limbs and brush were piled everywhere.
The clean-up in both Kiel and New Holstein has truly been a combined effort of every sector of the communities. There is still great pride in ownership in both communities—the vast majority of people like their properties to look good, and a major wind storm was not going to change that. Many people hauled their own brush away to compost piles, knowing that public works employees had their own Herculean task ahead of them. Churches, service organizations, and business people pitched in where they could. Groups from outside the communities came in to lend aid as well.
What more can be said? Great job, everyone—even if it comes as no surprise. —Mark Sherry