Heavy Downpour Swamps Habitat’s ReStore

Governor declares state of emergency for entire state

The June 25 storm that drenched Door County with 3-6 inches of rain in less than three hours was harder on some than others. 

One of those was Door County Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore at 410 N. 14th Ave. 

“Literally the whole property was flooded,” said Heather Thyrion, ReStore manager. “Inside the building, most spots had 3-4 inches of water; some had 6-8 inches.”

The organization’s insurance does not cover flood-related damages – and there was a lot of flood-related damage. As of June 28, they had thrown out three, 20-foot dumpster loads of stuff and had to remove about 3 feet of the wall in the main store.

Thyrion watched the interior and exterior security footage of the waters rolling in. She watched garbage cans, wood and outside objects float away. Their box truck had water up over the bumper. 

“I’ve never seen it that bad and that fast,” she said.

Their building out front that holds all the materials and tools for their home builds and improvement projects also flooded, “but most of the stuff is up on pallets,” she said. 

Habitat ReStores are independently owned reuse stores operated by local Habitat organizations. The one in Sturgeon Bay has been there since 1996 (though at a different location at first). It accepts donations and sells a constantly changing inventory of diverse merchandise to the public at a low cost.

“Our ReStore funds home builds, improvements projects, keeps our lights on,” Thyrion said. “It’s our ground, our foundation for Habitat for Humanity here.”

Thyrion said they need monetary and physical support as well as cleaning supplies and other essentials. To learn how you can donate or help, call Lori Allen, executive director, at 920.544.1805, or Heather Thyrion, ReStore manager, at 920.559.9244. 

Governor Declares State of Emergency 

Door County hasn’t been the only one to experience damaging weather events lately. 

Between June 21-25, strong storms produced damaging tornadoes, high winds and flooding across the state, causing widespread tree and structural damage, road washouts, power outages and flooding. In Door County, County Road U washed out in Clay Banks and could cost the county in excess of $100,000 to repair, according to Door County Highway Department deputy commissioner Randy Dvorak. The National Weather Service confirmed 10 tornadoes that occurred in nine counties.

To help communities across the state, Gov. Tony Evers signed an executive order, Jun 28, declaring a state of emergency throughout the state. 

“We want to make sure folks and communities are safe, healthy, and have the support they need to recover quickly and that can get relief to those impacted,” Evers said in a statement.

Wisconsin Emergency Management, a division of the Wisconsin Department of Military Affairs, has been working with counties to assess damage and determine resources needed to speed recovery efforts. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is assessing damage to state park properties.

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