We're not in Kansas anymore . . .


Many of us are familiar with the classic movie, "The Wizard of Oz."

The story is one of coming to the realization that we already have what we were searching for in the first place:

  • Dorothy only wanted a home

  • The Scarecrow wanted a brain

  • The Tin Man wanted a heart

  • The Cowardly Lion wanted courage

None of this would have been possible without the star of the show, however, the Twister.

I don't know what the tornado, twister, or cyclone wanted other than to shake things up. Perhaps it wanted more.


This is no laughing matter...

This was my house about 7 minutes after the tornado blew quickly through our neighborhood. There were three trees that hit my house, two which stayed on the house after the winds quit blowing. One punctured a hole through the roof and ceiling of the bedroom.

The storms that hit much of Central Minnesota this past week were no joke, though. The tornadoes and straight-line winds didn't appear to whisk any of us away to a colorful land where our greatest desires would come true. Instead, they left thousands of dollars worth of damage trailing behind them.


In the small city where I live, much of the damage in town happened on our end of town in a two-block radius. Because we had three trees hit our house, I didn't spend a lot of time checking out the damage as I was attempting to stave off further damage to my home.


This storm system was very widespread covering multiple counties in Central Minnesota on Thursday, May 12.



The rain poured in through the compromised ceiling in this room. Two days later, the smell was pretty bad as it had soaked into the carpet and towels we had put up there to absorb what we could.

When we awoke on Friday the thirteenth (I know, I know!), we had no idea about the extent of the damage. All we knew for sure was that we had no electricity, we had two trees still lying on our house along with seven other trees that had been uprooted and thrown on the ground like they were discarded flowers.


We went back into our house and looked at the mess the trees coming into the house had caused.


The damage...


Other than the initial damage we saw on the outside of the house, we had damage inside from the area where the tree had compromised the roof and broken through the rafter, and opened up the ceiling.


As is typical of a violent storm, there was a lot of water that accompanied the thunder, lightning, and wind. As you can imagine, that water was pouring into my house in that corner bedroom and onto the carpet along with everything else that had been in that corner of the house.


We were just sick. This was our home. We had worked hard to make it our own personal "castle" and now our "fairy tale" was crumbling, quite literally, around us.


Still, we knew that things could have been much worse. Now it was just a matter of accessing the damage and coming up with a plan to keep the damage from getting worse.



Several times over the past few days I have said, "I wish there was a manual that would tell you what to do when things like this happen." I guess I will probably be writing that next! The only thing I knew for sure to do was to reach out to my insurance agent and hope that we had some good insurance. (It turns out it's pretty good!)


We also had a friend of ours who does contractor work come over to the house to give it a good once over to make sure it was safe for us to stay there.


We went back home after spending a couple of days in a hotel. Still, it was difficult because we had no electricity. You never really know how much you depend upon electricity until you don't have it!


There was damage on all sides of our house. Along with the exterior damage, there was also quite a bit of damage upstairs with the plaster cracking and falling in various places. Our bathroom is on the side of the house that was hardest hit and there is a lot of cracking and damage to the exterior and interior walls.


The smell . . .


When the rain pours into your house and absorbs into your carpet and your walls and floors, it can leave a really dank and disgusting odor. The rain came into our house for much of the first night as it was too dark for us to get the trees off the roof and get any tarp up there. We put some buckets, tarps, and towels on the floor, but the damage was happening and we needed to at least slow the bleed, so to speak.



Don't let looks deceive you, this carpet may look nice and clean, but mildew was rapidly forming and causing a hideous odor.

The next day my friend was over with his skid steer, log chains, and chain saws. He worked hard for about 12 hours and got the trees off the house and most of them were cut up and piled. He also took down two other trees that had been partially uprooted and would cause trouble should another storm descend.


Once we had electricity on Sunday night, we were able to get a much better look at things and noted a lot of damage we hadn't seen when we were looking with only the filtered light of flashlights and windows.


We also got a really good whiff of the mildew that was already actively stinking up the upstairs where the rain had come in.


I would like to tell you that we quickly became used to the smell and it didn't bother us, but that would be a lie. If anything, I think the smell grew bigger and more menacing the more time we spent up there!


"Well, I use Vital Oxide for nearly everything else," I thought. "Why not use it now and see if it helps with that odor?"



We went up armed with spray bottles filled with Vital Oxide and attacked the carpet and wall with muster!


The smell did not immediately dissipate but having had experience with pet odors, I had anticipated that it would take a little time.


The next day, the smell was down to a very dull roar and it was much easier to breathe in that room!


Later in the day, the smell was mostly gone!


Vital Oxide really does work at killing mold and mildew! That is what it is designed to do and it does it very well.


How LastGerm can help you...



LastGerm can help you with mold and mildew remediation. It is what we do. We have the equipment to help you. We can spray your wet basement, your carpets, or anywhere you need it. We don't just help when the storms of life hit, but all the time.


We can either do the job for you or we can set you up with what you need to do the job yourself.


Contact us about special pricing to help you deal with the effects of this recent storm.


If you have further questions or what to know more about how we can help, please contact us and we will set you up with an agent near you that will be happy to assist you.






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