Despite nearly 350 reports of storm damage across Dane County — including a possible tornado just past midnight near Verona — there were no serious injuries reported. Dane County executive chief of staff Josh Wescott is assisting at the county’s emergency management center.
AUDIO: As the storms moved through, Wescott says there were fears of people trapped in their homes.
Dane County Executive Joe Parisi and County Board Chair Sharon Corrigan are declaring a state of emergency after severe weather damaged dozens of homes in the area overnight.
Executive Parisi is making efforts to ensure those affected by Monday night’s severe weather are eligible for disaster recovery assistance.
Parisi is touring storm-damaged parts of Verona and Madison today with Dane County Emergency Management Director Charles Tubbs. He says, “Given the extent of the damage in some of our neighborhoods we feel fortunate no one was seriously hurt.” He says, “Now we need to do what we can to help them get back on their feet.”
Verona Police said at least 15 homes had severe damage there, and Verona’s Country View Elementary School partially collapsed.
Several thousand Dane county residents also lost power throughout the night. The damage isn’t confined to Dane County. Much of south central Wisconsin got hit with something. Platteville, in Grant County, sustained extensive damage. At U-W Platteville, officials now say at least five campus buildings were damaged. Only essential employees are being allowed there today.
Communities are encouraged to compile damage reports and share them with Dane County Emergency Management. Those reports will be shared with the State with the eventual hope of securing a federal disaster declaration. That would enable individuals, businesses, and communities here to get assistance with rebuilding and recovery.
Weather service meteorologist Steve Davis said a tornado most likely traveled from Green County northward into Dane County. From what he’s seen, Davis said he couldn’t imagine it not being a tornado — and if that’s true, it would be the first twister to fall in Wisconsin in 2014.