Tornado destroys home in southwest Wisconsin

At least one tornado formed in northwest Grant County
Tornado destroys home in southwest Wisconsin

Wisconsin emergency management officials said a tornado destroyed a home in southwest Wisconsin on Tuesday night.

Wisconsin Emergency Management spokeswoman Lori Getter said Wednesday that no one was injured when the EF2 tornado struck the home near Bloomington. She said it destroyed a home and damaged four outbuildings.

“When I pulled up this morning, I was just awestruck at the power of the wind and the ability that that kind of damage can happen with just a storm that came out of nowhere,” said Julie Loeffelholz, of Grant County Emergency Management.

The National Weather Service said the tornado had winds between 115 and 120 miles per hour, and was on the ground for two minutes. Officials estimate that it traveled two-tenths of a mile and was 70 yards wide.

It touched down around 7:40 p.m. as part of a storm system that rolled across southern Wisconsin bringing rain, hail and strong winds.

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The tornado caused significant damage at a small family farm in Patch Grove.

Neighbors such as Larry Gates have come to try to help the Myer family recover. Gates is also captain of the Bloomington Fire Department, so he was at the scene right after the storm hit.

“I went home, slept for a little bit, got back here at about 7 o’clock to help out,” Gates said. “The driveway just filled up. There were people piling up just to help out.”

Emergency management officials in Grant County said that other than a tree down on a nearby home, the damage is pretty much isolated to the farm.

The family wasn’t home when the storm hit.

“The family is obviously very traumatized. They’re doing very well. They’re going about the business of getting stuff cleaned up and salvaging what they can. At this point, I’m not sure how much sleep they’ve had and if the reality of this whole situation has really set in or not,” Loeffelholz said.

Family members said they are glad that no one was injured.

Witnesses said that while the tornado was on the ground for only a few minutes, it didn’t seem to move at all and just kept tearing up ever everything that was on the farm. 

Hail more than 2 inches in diameter was reported in some areas along with wind gusts as high as 60 to 75 mph. Some areas in northeast Iowa and southwest Wisconsin also received as much as 3 to 4 inches of rain. 

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