Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers has declared a statewide State of Emergency. The action follows severe overnight storms affecting several regions of Wisconsin, and causing widespread damage, downed trees and power lines, power outages, and road closures due to debris.
Evers said he’s declared a State of Emergency to ensure state resources are available to get communities the support and help they need. The order directs state agencies to help those affected by the storms and also allows the Wisconsin National Guard to be called to active duty to provide assistance supporting local authorities with their recovery efforts.
The National Weather Service is investigating several possible tornadoes that were spawned in Wednesday night’s derecho. Meteorologist Andy Boxtell said possible tornadoes spawned in southern Wisconsin, near Concord and in Waukesha County.
“So far just sporadic reports of damage nothing on the order of what we’ve heard about in the Concord area but undoubtedly some trees down and such things across that region,” Boxtell said.
Teams are also investigating possible tornadoes in Marathon, Portage and Winnebago counties. Some areas of Central Wisconsin received several inches of rain overnight, causing minor flooding along the Wisconsin River.
Thousands of people remain without power as of Thursday morning, including about 6,000 customers of Wisconsin Public Service in Wausau.
“We understand that it’s frustrating to be without power, but we’re committed and will continue to work tirelessly so that we can restore service,” said WPS spokesman Matt Cullen. Cullen said many of those same crews were working in the Rhinelander-Antigo area earlier this week. If you come across downed lines or damaged equipment, do not try to fix it yourself and call it in immediately.
Affiliate WSAU contributed to this report