The Compass: Official Newspaper of the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay
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June 15, 2001 Issue
Local News

Heavy storms cause church, school, cemetery damage

Valley, Oshkosh properties hardest hit by wind, water

By Patricia Kasten
Compass Associate Editor

The storms that tore through northeast Wisconsin June 11, left a lot of damage, especially in the Waupaca through Fox Valley area.

"We've received a number of calls about damage," said Kevin Brunner, diocesan director of temporalities on the morning of June 12.

Damage reports were sketchy at press time, but included major roof damage to Xavier High School's Fine Arts Center in Appleton. According to Brunner, the roof membrane had collapsed into the building near the stage area. The Fine Arts Center, built at a cost of $4.3 million was dedicated in September 1998.

Other damage to Catholic properties included flooding in the buildings of St. Bernadette Parish in Appleton, damage to St. Mary and St. Peter Parishes in Oshkosh and Ss. Peter and Paul in Weyauwega, and falling trees causing cemetery damage in Oshkosh Catholic Cemetery along Highway 110.

"It was like someone had taken a giant rotary lawn mower to the trees and chopped them off at the top," said diocesan cemetery director Jon Ruatti, after seeing the Oshkosh damage.

Winds up to 90 mph hit the area, toppling trees and power lines. Mayors in Oshkosh and Neenah declared states of emergency for their cities and large parts of Oshkosh remained without power on Tuesday. Catholic Social Services-Fox Valley remained closed Tuesday because of a power outage.

Early damage estimates to the entire Winnebago County area ran into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

More storms were expected through the week.

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