Elderon family farm devastated by storm - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Elderon family farm devastated by storm

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by Pam Warnke

ELDERON (WAOW) -- An Elderon family deals with devastation following the storm. They are all okay, but have suffered a significant loss.

When the storm swept through it damaged their livelihood and their family history. This Elderon farm has been in the Balthazor family for more than half a century.

Brenda Balthazor says, "The farm was bought by my grandfather, my dads dad on Christmas day when he was in his 20s they've had it probably 60 years, maybe 60-70."

Tuesday night those years came up against severe weather. Brenda Balthazor's parents had just finished milking. Her dad about to start feeding the cows when they noticed the swirling winds.

Brenda says, "Debree flying everywhere and they heard a huge crash and the barn fell down."

Just feet away, the family was safe. But the 85 cows in the barn were trapped. The family was able to save 20-30 of them, but the rest too injured to salvage.

Brenda says, "It's the loss of the animals that we're suffering. The loss of income. The loss of the buildings and then just trying to keep it together to keep milking because you have to milk the cows that are here. You can't let them go, feed them and water them."

The 200 head farm houses dairy cows, heifers, beefers and some who are expecting. But they weren't expecting this loss when the skies turned dark. What happened in just minutes, now a significant part of years of history on the Balthazor farm.

Brenda says, "The devastation goes so deep because the barn is part of your identity. And it's part of my family business and its' what we did and it's the way we grew up."

Total damages are still to be assessed, but Brenda says the cattle loss is about $80,000 and the barn is a $100,000-$200,000.

Online Reporter: Pam Warnke

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