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“We’re alive,” Potosi family farm hit by tornado

POTOSI (WKOW) -- For nearly 140 years, the Bartels farm has stood outside of Potosi, but now 80 percent of it is in rubble.

Mandy Bartels says the farm has been in her husband's family for generations.

"The history, the memories, the blood, sweat and tears that goes into farming, every farmer out there knows that this doesn't happen over night," she said. "Every generation that came before us has built a legacy and now it's gone."

The National Weather Service says preliminary reports show an EF-1 tornado with up to 100 mph winds tore through 7 miles of Grant County, into their home.

"We'll be okay, we're alive, every room in the house that took a hit, one of us was in and we walked away," Bartels said.

However, some of the animals weren't so lucky.

"We had to humanely euthanize one cow, so far, one calf and we lost my daughter's rodeo horse," she said.

Despite the extensive damage, she says they're still trying to look on the bright side, especially because so many people are out here trying to help.

With the virus going around now, there's no social distancing going on here. We have all come together and everybody is here for us," Bartels said.

She says she had already temporarily lost her other job because of closures related to the coronavirus.

Now it'll be another six months before the farm is even close to back to normal.

Until then, the community has their back.

"I can't say enough thank yous to everybody that has shown up. I'm not even going to think to name anybody because I don't even know everybody that was here," she said.

Tom Lally

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