September 2, 2014

Severe storms slam southern Wisconsin

A line of severe thunderstorms swept through southern portions of the state overnight, leaving behind widespread damage in several counties.

Authorities say trees and power lines were down throughout Darlington and Gratiot in Lafayette County, as well as in parts of Grant County in the far southwest. State emergency management officials say the damage stretched as far eastward as Lake Geneva.

Beloit was among the hardest hit. The city opened its Emergency Operation Center after about 7,000 residents lost their electricity. The city manager’s office says homes and vehicles were damaged by fallen debris, but there are no reports of injuries.

As of early afternoon, Wisconsin Power-and-Light said 2,600 electric customers in its far southern Wisconsin region were still without power.

Numerous streets in Beloit also remain closed because of the damage. The city says they will reopen after debris is removed, and power lines are fixed.

Forecasters say more rain is expected on Wednesday in most of Wisconsin and severe weather could return to portions of the state.