Navigating the Flood Relief Efforts
As many of you know, our area experienced severe flooding on Monday, July 11. While the main Chequamegon Bay communities of Ashland, Bayfield, and Washburn made it through relatively unscathed, outlying smaller towns were extremely hard hit. Now, efforts are underway to rebuild Highbridge, Marengo, Mellen, Odanah, and Sanborn. Here’s what we know and how you can help.
An effort is underway to consolidate community involvement in the flood relief recovery process. The Chequamegon Bay Flood Relief group hopes to coordinate donation collection and volunteer opportunities. This group is being operated by Elle Abeles-Allison, Chris Corrigan, Jacob Gigler, and Wendy Kloiber. These folks are pulling together local contacts for each community, creating a list of needed items, and coordinating anyone who wants to volunteer their time to help with the flood cleanup. For more information, visit their Facebook page and website.
For information about road closures and detours, check out local law enforcement Facebook pages. Ashland County Sheriff’s Department and Bayfield County Sheriff’s Department
Hermit Creek Farm made it through the storm with minimal damage to the farm itself. Steven and Landis Spickerman said that their biggest challenge now is making deliveries because a culvert near the end of their driveway washed out. They managed to get their CSA boxes to town by shuttling them across the washout to a waiting rental truck.
River Road Farm has lost 80 to 100 percent of their crops for this season. The storm also washed away years’ worth of soil amendments. All the livestock on the farm was rescued, however. Todd and Kelsey Rothe are still assessing the extent of the damage. See the donation information below for ways to help River Road Farm.
Great Oak Farm made it through the storm with very little damage. Farmer Chris Duke just had to wait out the extra moisture in his fields and was back in them to cultivate this weekend.
Hidden-Vue Farm lost several recently seeded fields to flood waters, but otherwise fared well. All of their animals are safe. Farmer Dave Nortunen also said he’s thankful that their new greenhouse didn’t blow away.
If you would like to volunteer your time either helping local families cleanup their homes or assisting with coordination of donations, sign up with the Chequamegon Bay Flood Relief group on their website.
Many locations in the area are taking donations of cash and goods. Here are some specific ways you can donate.
River Road Flood Relief Fund on GoFundMe – Set up by Chris Corrigan (the Ashland Farm-to-School nutrition coordinator), this online fund aims to help Todd and Kelsey Rothe rebuild their farm. River Road Flood Relief GoFundMe page
Co-op Farm Flood Relief Fund – Your cash donations at the Co-op will go directly to farmers who apply for flood relief. Look for the donation boxes at the registers.
Bad River Tribal Relief Fund – Cash donations to this fund are being distributed to all local affected communities. Collection is happening at area businesses (including the Co-op) or can be made directly to Associated Bank, Bad River Tribal Relief Fund, Account # 2236069189, 221 4th Street, Ashland, WI 54806.
Food & Goods Donations – Drop off cleaning products, bottled water, food, and other goods for affected families at Chequamegon Food Co-op, Midland Services – Sanborn Ave., Marengo Town Hall, Sanborn Community Club, and SuperOne-Ashland. The collection process is being spearheaded by Bad River Social Services, but local community contacts for other affected areas should be installed soon.