Storms cause damage in Grant County

High winds knock out power

Published On: Jul 26 2012 06:37:19 AM CDT   Updated On: Jul 26 2012 08:54:03 PM CDT
VILLAGE OF MUSCODA, Wis. -

Thunderstorms and high winds overnight made a mess in Grant County, knocking down trees and power lines.

Residents in the Village of Muscoda said the winds moved by very quickly, and the damage was done in a matter of minutes. But clean-up efforts kept residents busy Thursday.

Downed trees were lying on streets Thursday in Muscoda.

"It was rainy with lightning and thunder," said resident Lloyd Currier. "And all of a sudden, I thought it was thunder shaking the house, but apparently our tree went down."

Currier's Chinese elm now rests on his roof, bringing down nearby power lines. Village officials said at one point, the whole community was without power. That's about 800 to 900 customers.

"It's unreal," said Currier. "We took it and made sure everything was safe being in the yard. And we tried to get a hold of everyone to come and take it down, get rid of it."

The Grant County Sheriff's Department said people lost power in Muscoda, Fennimore, Blue River and Ellenboro Township.

Sheriff's deputies said two horse barns were blown down in the county overnight, and numerous trees were down all over Muscoda.

And while trees took the brunt of the storm damage, at St. John's Church's community room, crews found the building's roof partially torn off. It was all part of the church's remodeling project, which was just two weeks away from completion.

"We're so close to the end of construction," said church parishioner Jon Thingvold. "It was kind of sickening to think about it."

"We heard the trees went down but we never expected anything to happen with the roof," said Junior Mueller, who is helping rebuild the roof. "It was a real shocker."

And now, residents who once prayed for rain have a slightly different request come Sunday.

"Maybe more rain, but no wind this time," said Thingvold.

Meanwhile, We Energies said it was working to restore service to about 10,000 customers in the Fox Valley, south of Madison and the Waukesha area.

We Energies said 18,000 customers lost service at one point because of strong winds knocking down trees, branches and power lines. The Waukesha airport recorded wind gusts of nearly 60 mph overnight.