Windstorm Paralyzes Door County, State Parks Close but Pen Players say Show Must Go On!

It has been a challenging learning experience, for more than 11,000 Door County residents and visitors alike when Thursday evening’s high velocity winds took down hundreds of trees.

The scene above was repeated all across the Peninsula with downed trees blocking highways and cutting off electricity, telephone, cable and Internet connections to thousands of sites in northeastern Wisconsin’s Door County. The DNR is faced with so many trees blocking trails and roads that they have ordered all of Door County’s State Parks as well as Peninsula State Park’s Golf Course closed until Monday. While parts of the patchwork of power loss that affected more than 11,000 homes and businesses continue to come back to light, there are still more than 6,000 spots that remain dark. Among them are the south shoreline area of Fish Creek that includes the Settlement Shops and Courtyard Inn as well as Peninsula Players Theatre. But that hasn’t stopped the troupe at America’s oldest resident summer stock theatre in its unique setting along the cedar-lined shores of Green Bay. Executive Director, Brian Kelsey says “The Peninsula Players Theatre is still without power due to the storm, but we will be performing this evening under generator and work lights. We performed last night as well to a wonderful audience. Bring an extra layer and a blanket for optimum comfort, though!” Trees like this gigantic old elm that toppled over at Fish Creek’s Greenwood Supper Club have fallen on numerous homes and business locations. Daniel Ewaskowitz is perched up in the tree top, dexterously taking the fallen tree apart section-by-section with a crew on block and tackle to lower each piece to the ground without damaging the existing roof structure below. Glidden Drive area was particularly hard hit as well as the tree-lined portions of Highway 57 north of Jacksonport which remained closed until midday Friday. This home, (below) located on Highway 57 in Sevastopol was spared any harm when a large old maple fell neatly into the driveway.

Wisconsin Public Service provides a Map of Current Electric Outages within their service area. If you are without power, they ask that you please report your outage. “To receive an update on a previously reported outage, check your outage status. Outage information is updated every 15 minutes.”

And in Ephraim, one boat owner was fortunate that it was a northwester blowing his sailboat ashore instead of out to sea, when it broke loose from a mooring in Eagle Harbor. Thursday evening, after the power flickered and died out, I found my home reasonably well-equipped with a good supply of candles, two big boxes of stick matches, a few gallons of water, a battery-powered radio and a gasoline-powered 110-volt generator,  but there were still some vital things missing. A Friday afternoon, after-the-fact trip to the local Pamida store in Sister Bay found them completely sold out of cheap flashlights. With winter looming, perhaps it’s time to make what survivalists call a “B.O.B.” or bug-out-bag that contains a collection of important items like a multi-tool which provides several tools in one: pliers, screw drivers, knife and saw blade. Here’s a simple B.O.B. example… a 6.5 Gallon Marron Nylon Pack with re-enforced stitching, waterproof zipper covers. Main compartment, 2 side pouches and 2 front compartments that contains:

  •  1 Ultralight/Watertight basic Medical kit
  • 2 MREs (Meal, Ready to Eat)
  • 1 Power Bar
  • 2 Powerbar Gels
  • 33oz GSI DUKJUG water bottle (BPA Free)
  • 50 Aquatabs water purification tablets
  • GSI Compact Stainless Ketalist kitchen kit
  • Emergency Thermal Blanket
  • Maglight Solitaire – 65ft. Beam Distance
  • Fox40 Safety Whistle
  • 2 x Heat Factory Disposable warming pack (10 hour life)
  • Silva Forecaster Compass/Thermometer
  • 1- 100ft ultralight Paracord
  • Duct Tape
  • Coghlan’s 2 ply Toilet Tissue

What’s on your list of essentials?

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