ONALASKA – The damage across Onalaska in Polk County from Wednesday's violent tornado was widespread.
For many, the damage was hard to take in. But for resident Brandon Buteaud, it is more personal. One of his best friends, Taylor Holbert and Taylor's girlfriend, Brooke Ivey, were both killed.
"That was my best friend, my drinking buddy. I mean my son's godfather," Buteaud said.
More than just friends, Buteaud said Taylor was his family and the best man at his wedding.
"He'd give you the shirt off his back, I mean it. It didn't matter what he had going on," he said.
The devastating twister that touched down on this otherwise quiet community killed three people, injured nearly 30 more, and damaged close to 300 homes.
Billy Price said he is thankful to be alive, considering he was driving down the highway when the tornado hit.
"It literally picked my truck up and flipped the trailer to the side of the truck, smashed into the truck," he said.
Like so many small knit communities, Price also knew the couple that was killed.
"Brooke was the most beautiful woman and Taylor, he would do anything for you," Price said.
Less than 24 hours after the deadly tornado struck, the entire community is coming together to start rebuilding while remembering those lost.
“It didn’t matter what you were going through, you call him, and he knew exactly what to say to make you feel better. That’s the person he was,” said Buteaud.