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Grant Co. farmer: Tornado touched down over weekend

By Jennifer Hoff, jhoff@wisctv.com
Published On: May 12 2014 09:58:58 PM CDT
POTOSI, Wis. -

A Grant County farmer is certain a tornado touched down during this weekend’s severe weather.

“Right here, it’s the only place there is any damage,” John Koeller said.

Mother Nature picked on Koeller’s Potosi farm and tore parts of it apart around 2:30 Sunday afternoon.

“I just don’t think straight-line winds can do what happened here,” Koeller said. “I thought the house was going to go, looked out the garage windows and everything turned white and in about 30 seconds it was over.”

About 20,000 bushels of corn went tumbling out of Koeller’s 9,000-square-foot shed that didn’t stand a chance against the storm. He scooped up what was left of it and on Monday, burned it down to scrap metal. Koeller said the metal is only worth enough to buy him a couple beers.

“We’ll have to get at her this summer and put another building up,” Koeller said. He estimated the amount of damage is dangerously close to $200,000, but he vows to fight back and rebuild to keep his more than 100-year-old family farm functioning.

“Takes more than that to scare me,” he said.

Last year, Koeller’s corn dryer caught fire, but insurance should cover that, much like he hopes it helps him with this latest bout with Mother Nature.

Koeller was hopeful he could salvage the spilled corn. If not, he’ll lose about 10 percent of his total annual bushels.

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