People across south-central Wisconsin are assessing damage from tornadoes that pummeled the region overnight – and they’re being alerted that another round of severe weather appears to be likely. Tod Pritchard with Wisconsin Emergency Management said Plattville was hard hit, with several buildings on the UW Plateville campus sustaining significant damage. In Verona, more than a dozen homes are uninhabitable, and an elementary school seriously damaged.
“At first blush, it’s looking like probably an EF-2 type tornado, with winds of about 125 miles an hour,” Pritchard said of the damage in the Dane County community, which Governor Scott Walker was scheduled to tour Tuesday afternoon. “That storm seemed to kind of hopscotch across southwestern Dane County. Wherever it came down, unfortunately they really got walloped.”
Late Tuesday afternoon, the National Weather Service confirmed that the damage in Plattville was caused by a pair of EF-2 tornadoes, while Verona was struck by a tornado which the weather served characterized as a “low EF-3.”
Emergency Management released a summary of damage at mid-day on Tuesday.
Platteville: Five people were injured by flying glass when the storm blew out windows in homes around Platteville. One victim was taken to a local hospital for treatment. UW Platteville is closed today. Officials say several campus buildings have extensive structural damage.
Verona: At least 19 homes are damaged and uninhabitable with 150 other homes suffering minor damage. There’s also extensive damage to Country View Elementary where a wall partially collapsed. The Salvation Army established an emergency shelter at Memorial Baptist Church. Three families are currently using that shelter. The Red Cross assisted two other families with housing and other emergency needs.
Madison: At least 16 homes suffered severe damage on the southwest side and the near east side.
Green County: Several barns were blown down and homes damaged in York Township which is in the northern part of the county. Many trees and power lines are down in Juda and Brodhead.
The system, which left a widely scattered trail of damage across south-central Wisconsin, was the same that wrecked even worse damage and killed two people in Nebraska. And another round is on the way. “As we progress into the evening hours and overnight and into the early morning, those storms are going to start popping up again. It’s really critical for people to be aware that we could have another potential of having this kind of damage, and this kind of storm system, coming through again tonight and again tomorrow night,” said Pritchard.
While emergency sirens sounded across Dane County and other areas in the storm’s path overnight, Prithcard says they are no substitute for having a weather radio in your home, particularly for storms that strike overnight. “The tried and true way to get the information is the good, old-fashioned weather radio. It’s a minimal expense that can truly save your life.”