Portage Co. man uses tunnel to beat the heat - WFXS, MyFoxWausau - News and Weather for Wausau, WI

Portage Co. man uses tunnel to beat the heat


The summer heat is on, but a Portage County man climbs into a refurbished telephone booth and goes underground in his battle to beat the heat.

69-year-old Chuck Crawford stays busy creating new things in his shop in Almond.

"I build different stuff," said Chuck Crawford.

It resembles a hardware store with hundreds of tools and it's the one place he spends most of his time.

"He's got a mind that just doesn't shut off, he's always creating and inventing things," said Judy Crawford.

About 16 years ago, Crawford said he was sick of winter weather getting in his way, so he built a tunnel from his house to his shop.

He also installed an elevator, made from an old phone booth, to get him underground.

"If it's raining, I go through the tunnel all the time, snowing or stuff like that, I don't bother going outside," said Chuck Crawford.

"I just didn't want a tunnel, but I'm his biggest cheerleader now, I love that tunnel," said Judy Crawford.

Getting to the tunnel is fairly easy, in the phone booth turned elevator. All you have to do is step inside, push the zero button and you're down.

The tunnel is 96 ft. long.

Crawford said it stays comfortable all year long.

"Stays about 50-55, in the summer, about 50 in the winter," said Chuck Crawford.

Crawford said he also uses the tunnel as a tornado shelter.

Although his wife said she thought it was crazy at first, she's warmed up to the idea.

"I use it more than he does, probably, really, if it's raining or anything like that, I go under and go out by him," said Judy Crawford.

While the weather outside may be hot, the tunnel, is a great place to keep cool.

Crawford said over the summer, he uses fans to pull air from the tunnel to cool his shop.

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