September 17, 2014

Anniversary of 15 tornadoes

Fifteen twisters touched down in Wisconsin one year ago today.

Wisconsin averages 23 tornadoes a year, but last year 38 tornadoes were confirmed in the state by the National Weather Service — the fourth highest number on record. Tod Pritchard of Wisconsin Emergency Management says 15 of those twisters occurred on April 10th — a year ago today. “One of those was up in Merrill … it went for 21 miles with winds around 140 mph and of course there was quite a lot of damage up there.”

Pritchard says tornadoes can happen at any time, in fact, we seem to be getting more of them. “The average number of tornadoes each year has gone up to 23 in Wisconsin; it used to be — for many, many years — it was, like, 20 … 2010 I think we had 46 tornadoes.”

Tornadoes have occurred in every month in the year other than February. As tornado season breezes in for this year, emergency personnel are urging residents to be prepared, and to “Listen, Act and Live!” Pritchard says when you hear a tornado warning, don’t dawdle; find the best shelter available immediately.

AUDIO: Jackie Johnson report 1:25