Manawa residents responded to storm damage
By Jane Myhra
Two citizens were recently honored for their commitment to their community.
James Wolosek and Zach Arthur received exceptional citizenship awards from the city of Manawa and the Manawa Police Department.
They were recognized for an incident that took place after a storm hit Manawa in June 2016.
Instead of standing around waiting for someone else to help, they took action.
The MPD received a call from the Waupaca County Dispatch Center at 8:40 p.m. Friday, June 3, advising a large tree had fallen and was blocking the roadway near the intersection of Depot and Ash streets in the city of Manawa. When police responded, they found a tree was in the southbound lane of Depot Street.
The fallen tree stood approximately 15 feet into the air, while the large base of the tree rested across Depot Street. The obstruction made it impossible for vehicles to travel south on Depot Street without crossing over into the northbound traffic lane.
Police radioed into dispatch and requested that Manawa Public Works be contacted to assist in the removal of the debris.
Shortly after this request, the Manawa Rural Fire Department responded to the location and assisted with traffic direction and illuminating the area for work to begin on the fallen tree. During this time, weather conditions were poor due to the heavy, prolonged, continuous rainfall. The majority of the city was under a power outage.
It was soon learned the city’s public works employees were dealing with an immediate emergency at the sewage plant and could not respond until this emergency was rectified.
While police and fire waited at the scene, James Wolosek and his son, Zach Arthur, who reside on Depot Street, arrived with chainsaws in hand. They asked police if they could start cutting the tree and remove it.
The citizens were advised emergency personnel had checked the area and did not see any power lines down. Police told them the city’s Public Works Department had been notified of the incident, and they could not give citizens permission to cut the tree due to possible liability issues.
“We know,” Wolosek replied. “We got this.”
Through the continuous downpour of rain, Wolosek and Arthur dismantled the tree within 45 minutes and had it removed from the roadway.
“During this time, medical emergencies were going on throughout the city and other members of the fire department were on various calls, not to mention the incident that was taking place at the sewage plant,” Mayor John Smith wrote in his letter of recommendation for citizen recognition.
“The actions by James and Zach were greatly appreciated as they went above and beyond what is expected of a citizen of Manawa,” the letter stated. “Their actions eliminated a concern for emergency personnel.”
It was nice for them to be recognized.
“It’s kind of cool to get recognized,” Wolosek said. “I always help when needed. If I can help, I do. It’s just the way I was raised.”
“When you see someone in need and if you can help them, you do,” he said. “That’s the way it is supposed to be.”
“Zack is the same way,” said Julie Wolosek, who accepted the award for her son. “He always tries to help people.”