Tornado 2017 – Information & Updates

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This is the official page Rusk County page for information and resources relative to the May 16, 2017 tornado.  You will find updates on assessment and recovery work, along with notices of assistance that may be available to those affected.  

Recovery efforts continue in Rusk County as a result of a tornado and storms on May 16-17. Clean-up and rebuilding efforts have been slowed by weather, insurance issues, and limited access to contractors. Those seeking assistance in recovery from the May 16-17 tornado and storms, still have the opportunity to access financial programs. These are outlined below.
The Donation Center in Barron County will be closing on July 29th. Rusk County residents affected by the storm can visit the center and receive assistance free of charge. SBA financial assistance is now available with an August 11th deadline to file applications.
The Northwest Regional Planning Commission in Spooner has received funds from the Wisconsin Department of Administration to make available to Rusk County homeowners and businesses. These funds could be in the form of grants or low-interest loans depending on need.

The 2-1-1 line utilization has been phased out.  Those interested in volunteering or in need of assistance should now call (715) 532-2121.

Any residents in need of volunteer assistance to clear debris from the recent storm damage should call 715.532.2121. They will need a name, phone number, and location.

Any storm impacted resident in need of general recovery assistance can also call 715.532.2121, and a County official will follow-up with you.

Media Releases/Updates

Recovery Resources Update – July 17, 2017

SBA Disaster Loan Outreach Center Opening – June 13, 2017

Emergency Management – June 2, 2017

Emergency Management – May 22, 2017


  • The Donation Center in Barron County will be closing on July 29th. It is available to provide Rusk County storm-affected residents with needed items (clothing, food, toiletries, furniture, cleaning supplies, pet supplies, and more):
    • Located at the Warehouse next to the former ReStore Building in Cameron, 309 N 1st Street, Cameron, WI 54822. (715) 790-4308 for more info.
    • The Donation Center will operate until July 29:
       Saturdays, Sundays & Mondays: CLOSED
       Tuesdays & Thursdays: Open 2pm – 7pm
       Wednesdays, Fridays: Open 10am – 5pm 
       Changes to the dates/times of operation will be posted on the Living Water Lutheran Church Facebook Page. For questions regarding the Donation Center please send a private Facebook message to Living Water Lutheran Church.
  • Housing Grant Funds Availalbe – Rusk County   
    Owner-occupied households impacted by the storm may be eligible for grant funds, made available through the State of Wisconsin, to make necessary repairs or pay for required insurance deductibles. Homeowners whose homes were totaled by the storm may be eligible for a 5 year forgivable loan to assist in the home replacement. Homeowners who have already made improvements to their home may be eligible for reimbursement of costs. Businesses that sustained damaged may be eligible for loan financing through a business loan fund targeted to assist businesses with necessary financing. Owner-occupied households and businesses needing financial assistance to make repairs or rebuild due to the storms impact should contact Kim Gifford at Northwest Regional Planning Commission at 715-635-2197. The Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority has provided short-term housing assistance for families displaced from their home due to the storm. Persons needing reimbursement or financial assistance in short-term housing should contact Mariann Jones at 715-635-2197.
  • Residents and businesses affected can apply for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), Application deadline is August 11:
    • Loan applications can be completed online at: 
    • Individuals and businesses may also obtain information and loan applications by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955.
    •  Community members who are deaf or hard-of-hearing may call 1-800-877- 8339 or email
  • WHEDA Natural Disaster Grant release - Emergency Assistance
  • Emergency Assistance through Workforce Resource - primarily for families with Children
  • Those in the agricultural community with damage and in need of assistance should be in contact with local Farm Service Agency/USDA office to see if assistance is available to them. Ladysmith (715) 532-3786 or Barron (715) 537-5645. For damage to conservation structure or fencing also contact Rusk County Land & Water Conservation at (715) 532-2162.
  • If you have been affected and have immediate needs and have not already been in contact with the Red Cross their contact number is 715-559-7365.

Anyone in the need of clothing, food, bedding or household furniture should contact:
o ICAA Connections Store in Ladysmith 715.532.7542
o The Salvation Army is also available to provide assistance at 715.403.1285
For assistance or concerns with insurance, contact the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) at 1-800-236-8517 or at

  • Rusk County Health and Human Services may be available to assist residents within their regular scope of programs, or can direct you to other assistance. (715) 532-2299

Other Notices

WI DNR Storm Demolition Debris Management Information – Rusk, Barron & Polk Counties

Demolition Debris Management
Additional Demolition Debris Management