Tornadoes in Wisconsin, Oklahoma leave 2 dead

Posted May 18, 2017

A tornado also hit Elk City, Oklahoma, damaging numerous homes and structures, according to the NWS.

According to the National Weather Service, almost 300 preliminary severe weather reports filed in from Wisconsin to Texas, spanning Tuesday afternoon to early Wednesday.

Fire Chaplain Danny Ringer said one person died in the storm.

At least one person died when a twister tore through a mobile home part Barron, Wisconsin, local authorities said.

"There was several trailers here that were gone, and not here anymore", said Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald.

"If it had been later in the night, it could have been much more tragic just because of where people were at in and around the region", Walker said. The National Weather Service office in La Crosse received numerous reports of winds topping 50 miles per hour, and trees and power lines are down in Green and Lafayette counties.

Chetek Mayor Jeff Martin said community members also were pitching in. Tornado watches and severe thunderstorm watches were issued for Clark, Dunn, Eau Claire, Pepin, Pierce, Polk, St. Croix and Taylor counties in west-central Wisconsin, and a flash flood warning for Buffalo, Chippewa, Dunn, Eau Claire, Pepin, Pierce, Rusk and Trempealeau counties.

1 S Ladysmith [Rusk Co, WI] PUBLIC reports TORNADO at 16 May, 7:00 PM CDT - REPORT OF WIDESPREAD DAMAGE FROM LADYSMITH TO CORNELL, WI.

Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wisconsin) toured the devastation in Barron County on Wednesday afternoon.

It destroyed 50 to 60 trailer homes and injured 25 people, 17 of whom were taken to hospitals. Cattle have been killed, but he says he has no immediate reports of human injuries. Wisconsin and Oklahoma were two of the hardest hit areas, forcing residents to clean up after several homes and businesses were damaged.

Sheriff's dispatchers say they're too busy to provide details.

At noon Wednesday, some residents were allowed back into the trailer park, officials with Wisconsin Emergency Operations Center said. He estimates the park had around 50 homes.

As the tornado continued on it crossed the street and hit a Jennie-O turkey farm, destroying 6 of their barns.

Scattered tornadoes have been reported in the nation's midsection.

The tornadoes, some of them still unverified a day later, touched down in five states: Wisconsin and Oklahoma, which each had one death and about 40 homes destroyed, and Texas, Kansas and Nebraska. There were also many reports of large hail and strong winds.