Downed oak trees make a mess in Sauk City

Scattered limbs left all around city
Downed oak trees make a mess in Sauk City

Dozens of downed oak trees made a mess in Sauk City Wednesday.

News 3 was outside the Ace Hardware store where wind first destroyed the greenhouse and ripped siding off the building Wednesday evening.

Thursday, crews are still cleaning up across the city.

The city’s police chief says about 13 blocks were hit hardest, including Free Thinkers Park and Riverwalk Trail. 

The park’s grounds keeper is especially upset about the 150-year-old oak trees whose limbs fell to the ground, on the gazebo and a nearby church roof.

Long after the wood is cut, Chris Matthews loads it in his truck.

“We haven’t had any complete trees fall, but we’ve had about 20 trees affected,” he said.

Scattered limbs are what are left over after the storm. Rain, wind and hail pounded parts of southwest Wisconsin, particularly Sauk City where Matthews tends the grounds at the park.

“We needed the rain, but unfortunately, it came all at once,” said Matthews.

Across town, a boy was hurt when wind blew over the trampoline he was on.  A woman running for cover tripped in the Ace Hardware parking lot where wind ripped a 1,000-pound air conditioner from its roof, throwing it to the pavement.

Thursday, crews are concentrating on cleaning up its garden center.

“Once they’re done cleaning up that area, they’ll move their attention to this trail,” said Police Chief Jerry Strunz.

Chief Strunz is warning pedestrians and bikers parts of Riverwalk Trail are closed, covered in trees uprooted, broken and unstable.

“There are some trees suspended up in other trees and if we get significant wind, those could potentially fall,” said the Chief.

It could be a couple days before the trail is open again. That’s about the same time Chris Matthews plans to have his grounds looking like new.

The chief is putting any tornado rumors to rest and says straight line winds caused the damage.