OREGON, Wis. - Severe weather may have left a path of damage, but the sense of community has continued to rise above it.
Keith Kramer, owner of Triple K Stables in Oregon and one of many people impacted by recent storms, took News 3 through what was left of his more than 40-year-old business after an EF-1 tornado cut through Sunday night.
His barns no longer had roofs, they were tossed to the ground by the storm. Horses grazed not far from standing water.
Kramer has kept his sense of humor, occasionally laughing during his interview, but in all seriousness said everything happened so fast.
"It was that loud of a bang it took me right out of bed. I had grabbed my cellphone yelled at the wife. I didn't even say wife or honey or anything I just said get to the basement," recalled Kramer.
After things seemed to quiet down, Kramer went outside to see roofing material on the ground and debris scattered. However, the broken barns weren't at the top of his mind, it was the 55 horses in his stalls.
Kramer went to the barns and concerned about how traumatized they must have been he told all the firefighters with their flashlights to leave.
Instead, he took one firefighter with him to check on each of the 55 horses in the stalls.
"One at a time I hugged them, let 'em smell me. They knew me. I've been here with most these horses, but I just talked them down. I tried to quiet them down," said Kramer.
The horses were OK.
Cleanup began right away, and Kramer was surprised to see people showed up to help with the effort at 6:00 a.m. Monday.
"I didn't think that existed anymore and it does. I had all my competitors were calling asking if they can do anything for me, which really makes you feel good that they would do that for you," said Kramer.
While Kramer stays focused on rebuilding his friends worry about the his future.
"A lot of these horses have moved to nearby stables as a temporary thing," said friend Ginny Dvorak. "He's hoping they all come back. I think most of them will because they know Keith and they're happy here, but you lose money every day you're not open. I don't know if he's going to be able to get his hay off the ground because he's busy with this."
Dvorak and another friend organized a fundraising effort to help Kramer rebuild Triple K Stables.
Visit https://www.facebook.com/TripleKTornadoReliefFund to donate.
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