Weather Authority Alert

UPDATE: NWS: Straight-line winds caused Wis. storm damage

By: Britni McDonald Email
By: Britni McDonald Email
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UPDATED Monday, November 18, 2013-- 8:03 p.m.

HUSTISFORD, Wis. (AP) -- The National Weather Service has determined straight-line winds, not a tornado, caused storm damage in southern Wisconsin.

Meteorologists on Monday looked at damage near Hustisford, in Dodge County, and Allenton and Boltonville, in Washington County.

The weather service says most of the damage happened in a uniform direction with little or no evidence of twisting or swirling.

In Hustisford, winds estimated at 100 mph caused an equipment building to collapse, snapped a wooden power pole in half and blew down about a dozen trees.

High winds took off part of a roof in Allenton. A silo collapsed on a barn about two miles west of Boltonville, killing 12 cattle.

The unusually powerful late-season storms brought damaging winds and tornadoes to 12 states Sunday.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

UPDATED Monday, November 18, 2013-- 6:00 p.m.

Today the rain let up, the power is back on, and the sun is even peaking through the clouds. But the destruction caused by the storm remains. The owner of a shed in Hustisford said it took just three minutes for his shed to be ripped apart.

"I said I think we're in a tornado," recalled Dan Bamke.

"I'm sure it took a lot of people off guard to hear the weather sirens go off yesterday," said Amy Nehls of Dodge County Emergency Management.

Wind gusts of about 100 miles per hour left Bamke's shed off of highway 60 in pieces.

"I looked out my window and saw it like this and thought 'holy crap,'" said Bamke.

What's left of the roof is now barely hanging by a thread, pieces of it scattered throughout his backyard.

Inside is equipment for Bamke's construction company. He'll now be constructing a new shed, but he's just glad it wasn't his house.

"I'd be looking for a place to live. This can be fixed," said Bamke.

Just a few miles away is Scott Miller's calf barn-- also destroyed.

"I thought, what happened to calf barn? I looked out the door, and there she laid," said Miller.

27 cattle inside were kept inside. They were not injured and moved to another barn.

"It'll take me an hour longer a day to do chores," said Miller.

Both Miller and Bamke had the National Weather Service and emergency managment crews surveying the damage today, along with their insurance companies.

"Tear it down, build something new, figure it out," said Miller.

Bamke's shed is a loss of about $60,000.

"In Wisconsin, we've had tornado warnings every month of calendar year," said Nehls. "Keep and eye on the sky and know what's going on."

Bamke said he'll begin tearing the rest of the shed down Tuesday and will rebuild in the spring.

There were no injuries, and no one was displaced. The National Weather Service spent the morning in Wisconsin and then headed to Illinois where damage is the greatest.


UPDATED Monday, November 18, 2013 --- 1:40 p.m.

HUSTISFORD, Wis. (AP) -- The National Weather Service is surveying damage from severe storms that swept across parts of southern Wisconsin.

In Hustisford, meteorologists are looking at a damaged barn, collapsed house or garage and a mile-long path of downed trees in Dodge County which could be the work of a tornado.

Investigators are also surveying damage in Washington County, specifically in Allenton where the wind took off part of a roof. Tree damage in western Racine, western Kenosha and Walworth counties may also have been caused by a tornado.

The unusually powerful late-season storms brought damaging winds and tornadoes to 12 states Sunday. Illinois was the hardest hit, with at least six people killed and dozens more injured. Authorities said Monday that two other deaths occurred in Michigan.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press


Posted: Sunday, November 17, 2013

Residents in Dodge Co. are cleaning up from Sunday morning's storm after strong winds damaged property, knocked down power lines and uprooted trees. The hardest hit area was in the town of Hustisford.

"We were both in the house and my wife said it's getting windy," Dan Bamke said. "I went into the kitchen and I looked outside and I seen the leaves going around like in a circle and I said, I think we're in the middle of a small tornado."

Bamke's shed that he uses to house his construction equipment was destroyed. Winds knocked down walls and tore off the roof. In addition to having to build a new shed, he's now out of work until he can remove or replace everything inside.

A couple miles away at a farm, winds blew off the roof of a cattle shed.

"As far as injuries go, we have not gotten any reports of injuries at all. All of the cattle in the shed were fine," said Joe Meagher, the Dodge Co. emergency management director.

The National Weather service believes it was straight line winds, not a tornado that caused the damage shortly after 10 a.m. But Meagher says that could change.

"We've forwarded pictures as well as maps of the damaged areas and they'll get back with us either later today or tomorrow morning with a determination or a better determination," Meagher said.

Either way, Sunday's severe weather is incredibly unusual for this time of year. Meagher says his crews are usually dealing with snow emergencies in mid-November, not possible tornadoes.

"It's amazing what Mother Nature can do to us," Meagher said. "We never cease to be amazed."

Meagher says all of the homeowners who sustained damage have insurance.

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