APPLETON, WI (WTAQ) - Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson has declared a state of emergency due to the storm damage.
"It allows us to marshal whatever resources we need right now," says Nelson. "It also puts us on track to be eligible for FEMA or Wisconsin Emergency Management grant funding to help pay for some of those costs."
Nelson has toured the damage in hard hit areas like Grand Chute, Greenville, Hortonville, Kimberly and Freedom.
"That is miraculous that given the type of damage that we have sustained from this storm, the fact that there has not been serious injuries and there have not been any deaths has just been incredible," says Nelson.
The National Weather Service says the thunderstorms packed winds over 80 miles per hour. Nelson says crews are assessing whether a tornado touched down in parts of the county.
The Red Cross has opened a shelter for residents displaced or in need at Appleton West High School, 610 N. Badger, starting at 4 p.m.
Nelson says it'll take days for the county to get back to normal.
For a list of roads closed in the county, click here.
County officials are also warning people about food and generator safety during the ongoing power outages.
Appleton Fire Department officials are collecting property damage information directly related to the storm. City of Appleton residents are asked to provide that information by calling (920) 832-5813.
Appleton police say that many signal-controlled intersections in the city are without power. Temporary signs are up at those intersections. In the absence of temporary signs, signal-controlled intersections should be treated as a four-way stop.
The city will be opening both yard waste sites for brush and yard waste only today until 6:00 p.m. Both yard sites will also be open on Thursday, August 8th from 9:00 a.m. to 6:45 p.m.
Due to the severe nature of the storm, tree and branch debris will be collected from the terrace by Public Works crews starting on Monday, August 12th for all streets south of and including College Avenue and starting Monday, August 19 for all streets north of College Avenue. Residents will need to have this material on the terrace at that time as only one pick up will be conducted. During this special collection, trees need to be cut to a maximum of 8 foot in length. Large items (greater than 4 inches in diameter) do not need to be bundled. Smaller branches, twigs and yard waste need to be bundled or placed in bags and weigh less than 45 pounds each.
Bulky overflow (damaged building materials, damaged lawn furniture, etc.) will continue to be collected on the normal collection schedule. This overflow must be kept separate from the yard waste debris that will be collected.
The City Health Department is advising citizens, who may have experienced power outages, to check out information on the Health Department's Facebook page (Appleton Health Department) or the City of Appleton website for information regarding food safety during power outages. If you are unable to access those sites due to power outages, the Health Department can be contacted at (920) 832-6429.
The City Parks and Recreation Department is advising that the Erb Park Pool will remain closed until further notice, due to power outages. Mead Pool will continue to operate.
Appleton residents are asked to check on the welfare of neighbors. If there is a concern about an individual's welfare, please contact the Appleton Police Department's non-emergency number at (920) 832-5500. If the situation is medically related, please call 911.