Witnesses watch as trees topple, winds gust - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Witnesses watch as trees topple, winds gust

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MARATHON COUNTY (WAOW) -

A couple of trees went down along Greenhouse Road in the town of Marathon. The people there said almost as soon as they heard the winds, it was all over.

"We were helping some customers to their car and the wind came up and it was just like a giant whirlwind of brown dust coming at us," said Mary Ruplinger. "Branches started to fly and in a few seconds it was all over."

Mary her husband Gordon were at their greenhouse when the storm hit. The store became a haven for travelers stuck in the wicked weather.

"Some people pulled in off the highway and sat in the driveway to get out of the rain but everybody's okay," said Mary.

The Ruplingers said the winds flipped benches and damaged one of their buildings. Then seconds later -- it was gone. Just up the road, more trees became casualties of the lightning quick storm.

"It was a big gust of wind," said Arnold Heil, who live in the town of Marathon. "I heard the wind coming and I got up and closed the window and then the tree went down real slow over the top."

Heil said all he could do was watch in silence as a giant tree toppled over in his yard. He said he's never seen anything like it in his life.

"It was over so fast that you don't have time to say anything," said Heil. "I couldn't even run to the basement because there was no time. It's over."

Heil said there's a lot of sand in his land, making it harder for trees to stay rooted in the ground. Even though many have fallen, he said they helped protect his home. He's happy no more damage was done -- a sentiment shared by many.
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