Weather

Storms cause damage, power outages across state

Storms cause damage, power outages...

LA CROSSE, Wis. - Several counties saw major damage after Wednesday night's storms.

Thousands of residents in Rock, Walworth and Sauk counties were without power into early Thursday morning.

About 1,200 homes in Rock County experienced power outages overnight, officials said. Alliant Energy crews spent Thursday restoring power, but it was a long process.

Chris Garey has lived in Janesville her entire life. She said she's never seen significant tree damage like this.

"Not to this extent. No, not like this at all," Garey said. "Some branches here and there, yeah but nothing like this."

Crews in Janesville are still removing trees from streets and sidewalks from Wednesday night's storms.

Crews are putting all trees, branches and debris onto terraces for collection at a later time, officials said.

According to a release, the city is focusing on cleaning up streets and sidewalks, and will return to remove debris from terraces within the next several days.


Whitewater School District canceled classes Thursday because of power outages, and Riverdale School District had a late start.

Whitewater police received more than 80 calls from residents, to help with downed trees, power lines and damaged homes.

Resident Sharon Thomas said one of her trees cracked in half and fell on top of her roof.

"(The wind) just blew and blew but it only lasted maybe 10 minutes and then it stopped. When I walked outside, it was just a mess," Thomas said.

A local tree service quickly responded to remove the broken limb, uncovering a large hole in Thomas' roof. She said this is the first time her home has been damaged by severe weather.

Many other homes and cars saw similar problems Wednesday evening. Kristin Mickelson with the city of Whitewater said crews were out helping into the morning hours.

"Thankfully, we had a team ready within minutes after the storm hit to be able to go out and assess the problem. To make sure that everybody was safe and then start actually taking case of the trees and branches that were actually in the roads and on the sidewalks," Mickelson said.

She said it was an all hands on deck situation, which was encouraging to see.

"Between the city, all the organizations and then just the citizens, to see everybody come together like this, it was really impressive," Mickelson said.

Mickelson said city officials expect debris clean up to last into next week.

Storms produce weak tornadoes in SE Minnesota, W Wisconsin

The National Weather Service says storms that swept through southeastern Minnesota and western Wisconsin on Wednesday included three weak tornadoes but caused no injuries.

The weather service office in La Crosse says two EF0 tornadoes with winds of 65 mph touched down in Wabasha County of Minnesota. One left a spotty path of minor damage about six-tenths of a mile long through Plainview around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Another EF0 tornado hit nearby Elgin just after 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, causing tree and roof-shingle damage along a path a little more than two blocks long.

Across the Mississippi River in Trempealeau County of Wisconsin, an EF1 tornado with winds of 95 mph damaged trees and farm buildings along a 1.4 mile path just before 5:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Town of Gale.


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