Reports: Tornado traveled 15 miles across Monroe County
MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - A second round of severe storms this week in southern Wisconsin caused damage across the region.
The counties of Adams, Juneau, Vernon, Sauk, Grant, Dane, Green Lake, Marquette, Columbia and Richland were all under a tornado warning Wednesday afternoon. At one point, six counties were all under the warning at once.
According to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, a reports of a tornado came in shortly after 4 p.m. Wednesday. Officials believe the tornado’s path went northeast from Highway 131 and County Highway A for about 15 miles before it left Monroe County.
No reports of deaths or injuries have been indicated in Tomah, the sheriff’s office noted.
The reported tornado resulted in downed trees, powerlines and barns, the sheriff’s office stated. Multiple semi trucks blew over as a result of the storms, causing delays on I-90 for over three hours.
The reported tornado also caused widespread power outages and damage to area homes.
Dane County Emergency Management stated that reports of a severe thunderstorm around 6:50 p.m. over Sun Prairie was capable of producing a tornado and is moving northeast at 50 mph.
Rain from downtown Madison poured through the streets, with one person even going outside to collect debris that had been moving throughout the road.
The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office stated that “numerous trees and powerlines” are down in the area, making several roads impassible. Motorists are urged to take caution if they need to travel.
The Roman Castle Italian Grill & Bar’s roof was torn off in Mauston after the storm ripped through the area around 4 p.m. Wednesday.
Juneau County Emergency Management said that no one was hurt in that area during the storm after that roof was torn off. Trees in the area and construction cones are strewn about in the area, as there was construction going on.
Juneau Co. crews are out to survey the damage and what’s going on. Skies in Juneau Co. were still a bit dark around 6:30 p.m., but the area was less windy than at the time the storm moved through the region.
At Mile Bluff Medical Center in Mauston, the building suffered minor damage and some cars in the parking lot had windows blown out. Trees in the area also appeared to be cracked.
The hospital told NBC15 that staff and patients inside sheltered safety and there are no reports of any injuries. The hospital is using its back-up power currently in order to continue taking care of patients and expects its full power to be restored by late Wednesday night. It also does not expect any disruptions to appointments at the hospital tomorrow.
The medical center’s Emergency Room facility is fully functional. However, for those who need anything other than the ER, there are limited capabilities.
The sign for the emergency room and urgent care of the hospital was flattened on the ground at the entrance.
Stands and guardrails from a baseball field across the street from the hospital were thrown around following the storm.
First responders were also blocking off the street by the medical center.
Sauk Co. Emergency Management reports downed power lines and trees, including a semi that toppled over.
Reports from the National Weather Service- La Crosse indicate a tornado touched down in the Tomah area Wednesday afternoon. According to the Associated Pres, the La Crosse Tribune reports the tornado spotted Wednesday in Tomah was described as “large and extremely dangerous” and debris has been seen “lofted” on radar.
The National Weather Service warned Mauston residents that “the tornado is rain wrapped,” meaning people may not see it approaching.
A crash reported by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation around 4:20 p.m. Wednesday indicated that all eastbound lanes on I-90/I-94 at County Road N near Oakdale in Monroe County were shut down. Oakdale was one of the cities urged to take shelter as a reported tornado was heading toward it.
All lanes were clear around 5:20 p.m., according to an updated alert.
The Juneau County Sheriff’s Office asked people to stay indoors due to storm damage. The sheriff’s office reported multiple downed trees and power lines. Emergency crews are beginning to go out and survey damage ahead of a clean-up.
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation provided tips for drivers in a tweet in case they are out on the road when a tornado forms. The agency told drivers not to try and outrun a tornado and also not to try and seek shelter under an overpass. Winds can be enhanced underneath an overpass and would not be a safe shelter, WisDOT stated.
The Dept. of Transportation also recommended that motorists drive safely, use a seatbelt and pull over to the nearest sturdy building. Anyone who sees debris should pull over, park and put their head below the windows.
Storms are expected to produce heavy winds, rain and hail Wednesday afternoon and evening.
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