Shifting gears in Merrill clean-up - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Shifting gears in Merrill clean-up

MERRILL (WAOW) -- A lot of work has already been done around Merrill with the help of hundreds of volunteers who came to the rescue of storm victims over the past few weeks. Now the people turn from physical labor to paperwork filing, a task some said can be ever more daunting than picking up after all the debris.

Contractors have their hands and bulldozers full, still with the task of picking up the bigger pieces of lumber and debris.

During this time of need, neighbors said they count on each other more than ever. With damaged homes, some have moved in with their friends. Others said neighbors they didn't even know existed have come out of the woodwork to pitch in with clean-up efforts.

"The whole part of the state, with all the help we've had come in to donate their time, services, and food, clothing, you name it," Merrill Mayor William Bialecki said. "There's people coming from all over up here."

One of the most tedious parts of the process has been taking on the paperwork involved with insurance claims. Some have described it as a constant back-and-forth as they drive between banks, contractors and insurance companies trying to make sure they have all the pieces to put their lives back together.

They said they have to be very meticulous with the claims, trying to remember everything that was damaged or went missing during the storms. That can be a difficult task, especially when much of it has been swept away by winds and storms.

Despite all the hardships the past few weeks have brought to Merrill, people said the ordeal has helped bring the community together and bring people from outside the area into it. Tornado victims expressed their thanks for everyone who has helped out.

Online Reporter: Anna Carrera

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