Residents prepare for severe weather season in Chetek - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Residents prepare for severe weather season in Chetek

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Chetek (WQOW) - April 9-13, marks Severe Weather Awareness Week in Wisconsin, and law enforcement is taking action.

The Barron County Sheriff's Department began monthly storm siren testing last week and will be conducting Skywarn Storm Spotter Training next week, on April 17. Training like this can help protect residents from dangers like last year's Chetek tornado that devastated Prairie Lake Estates. The storm left many shaken and concerned for the upcoming severe weather season.

"My plans, I mean for safety, we're moving on to a new house with a basement," said Prairie Lake resident, Keith Sirek. "I got every weather alert on my phone I could now. This may never happen again, but knowing that if it does, I can grab the kids and go down stairs right away."

Sirek and other residents heard word of a storm shelter that was to be built in Prairie Lake Estates, but have yet to see its construction.

"The storm shelter we know is going to come in," said Sirek. "For whatever reason, it got passed one section, but it's got to go on to another. I mean, nobody knows when it's going to be built. It might be a year. We can't live on 'What if' you know?"

One couple, Jerome and Janet Coom, said their son lives just minutes away with a basement on hand. Other residents are patiently waiting for the shelter, preparing their devices with weather apps of all kinds. 

Prairie Lake Estates is still repairing the damage done last May.

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