2 dead after tornadoes touch down in Wisconsin, Oklahoma

Remigio Civitarese
Mag 18, 2017

In addition to the touchdown near Chetek, Kyle Kriegl of the Red Cross said, there was a second touchdown in Rusk County, Wis., near Conrath, a hamlet of fewer than 100 people. She says initial reports were that it was more than 400 feet (120 meters) wide. Some people were trapped in their trailers.

Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald described the scene as "total destruction" and said first responders could hear people yelling for help when they arrived on scene. There were at least 25 other people injured when the tornado hit the Prairie Lakes Estates trailer park, and many people living at the trailer park have been left homeless.

Storms swept through western Oklahoma this evening bringing large hail and tornadoes, and leaving behind extensive damage.

There is widespread damage in the area.

Besides the mobile home park, there were several reports of other structures and vehicles damaged with downed trees in other parts of Barron County, Fitzgerald said. Residents of the park will be allowed to enter the site to look for their belongings around noon Wednesday, officials said. He also said the storm destroyed 40 homes and damaged 50 to 75 others severely.

Fitzgerald said he has never seen an event as devastating in his 20-plus years of work.

By evening, the National Weather Service listed almost 20 reports of tornadoes from Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska and Wisconsin, although some of those could be multiple reports of the same tornado.

Authorities identified the man killed as Eric Gavin, 45, whose body was found outside his damaged trailer.

"There is definitely the potential for all the severe weather hazards", including tornadoes and hail, Hultquist said. "I thank the Wisconsin National Guard, Wisconsin Emergency Management, and all state agencies for their coordinated response to this emergency".

Television footage, though, showed rescue personnel pulling at least one person out of the wreckage of a home in the Elk City subdivision. According to the Wisconsin Emergency Operations Center, one person at the park died. And he said, to his knowledge, no injures have been reported outside of the trailer park area.

The storm also knocked out telephone service into and out of the city, while school officials have canceled classes for Wednesday. Five homes were damaged, but there are no immediate reports of injuries.

The tornado death toll for 2017 has likely risen to 34, after deadly storms moved through the central U.S. Tuesday.

Assessment crews were headed out Wednesday to determine the extent of the damage.

One person is confirmed dead in Barron County along with 25 injured after a tornado hit.

At 4:39 p.m.an NWS employee spotted another tornado that touched down in Donley County.

In the aerial footage of the damage, it's hard to tell where structures once stood. The Storm Prediction Center has placed much of Iowa in its enhanced risk zone for severe storms.

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