At least 2 dead as tornadoes pummel central US

Posted May 19, 2017

At least two dozen of the 50 or so trailers were damaged at the Prairie Lakes Estates trailer park in Chetek, Wisconsin, where a 46-year-old man was killed.

A series of storms in Texas and Oklahoma panhandles brought damaging winds, large hail and tornadoes, killing one person in western Oklahoma Tuesday afternoon and evening.

The area stretches from the Texas Panhandle through Oklahoma, western Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa into Minnesota and Wisconsin.

The subdivision and the rural area surrounding have reported tornado damage, besides some outbuildings and homes are also severely damages pulling the utility lines and poles down.

Walker visited a trailer park near the city of Chetek on Wednesday afternoon where one male resident was killed and 25 people were injured Tuesday night.

Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said a large number of emergency crews were on hand where a tornado touched down in a trailer park north of Chetek.

One person died in the tornado, 53-year-old Gene "Bo" Mikles, Jr., when his vehicle was picked up by the wind and dropped. More than 25 people were injured, the state said, without giving their conditions. Shards of glass were flying at them like bullets, Tyson told the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram.

"There was a little voice in my head that said we need to leave, and we got out just in time", said Dale Dailey, who lives in the area where the tornado hit.

Areas just south of the city could see rain before 5 p.m., but the bulk of the storm is expected to reach Topeka around 7 p.m., National Weather Service meteorologist Chad Omitt said. The circulation and high winds in a tornado can easily rip or even toss a mobile home, which frequently would not have a foundation. Damage survey teams will assess locations, strengths and numbers of tornadoes.

Rescue workers who shed softball uniforms and dress clothes and put on their fire gear raced to the scene Monday and went door to door to rescue people, Fitzgerald said. Throughout the night rescuers searched for survivors and victims, as the local sheriff said he had been told there were walls on top of people.

Amazingly, Nolan escaped with just a couple of scratches, he said. Another 10 were reportedly injured and dozens of homes damaged or destroyed.

The county plans to open a volunteer reception center on Friday to coordinate trailer park clean up efforts. Samuelson's daughters suffered minor injuries.

The NWS expects thunderstorms on Wednesday for the Lower Mississippi Valley and parts of the Upper Midwest. The National Weather Service logged almost 300 reports of severe weather from Texas to the Great Lakes. A tornado destroyed homes in a western Oklahoma subdivision and killed a man who was trying to flee to safety.