NWS confirms EF1 tornado touched down in Seymour
NORTHEAST WISCONSIN (WBAY) - People across Northeast Wisconsin are working to clear the mess left behind by powerful and devastating storms Wednesday.
The National Weather Service confirms an EF1 tornado touched down in Seymour in Outagamie County.
The majority of the tornado damage was on the south side of Seymour, really the outskirts of town. The path damaged an apartment building and took down some trees and power lines as well.
There were no injuries or deaths.
A National Weather Service storm assessment team confirmed the tornado in Seymour after surveying damage Thursday. They said making that determination can be an incredibly challenging task.
”With the way these storms were on radar, you almost have both -- you have like a possible, quick little spin up, but then an area of straight-line winds all within the same storm. So you have to try and determine where the tornado would be, where that specific tornado path was, and then what is straight-line winds and then the speed of the straight-line winds on top of that. So, this isn’t a clear-cut, textbook case,” Kurt Kotenburg of the National Weather Service explained.
Crews were busy shoring up the roof of that apartment building Thursday afternoon.
”It’s pretty sad, everything that’s going on here. Neighbors are walking the road, picking up nails, trying to get nails off the road so people aren’t busting their tires. People are coming together to help out and do their part. I’ve got a friend coming from Appleton that’s going to give us a hand with moving and just thankful for the friends and people helping out,” Ben Burmeister of Seymour said.
While the damage to the building forced people from their apartments, residents like Dolan can stay home. The trees that were taken down in his yard fell away from his house.
“It missed our shed, it missed our neighbor’s house, it missed our house, so we were lucky and I can’t complain about that,” he said.
Seymour didn’t sustain as much structural damage as the surrounding rural communities did. In the town of Osborn, trees are down, buildings are damaged, and some people have been forced from their homes there, too.
We found a family moving from their home after it was damaged by the storm. The family of 7 was in their garage when it collapsed Wednesday night.
Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson says some roads in rural Outagamie County are impassable. “Crews will be taking inventory and clearing today. Affected areas include Dale, Center, Freedom, Seymour, Black Creek. Take extra time on your morning commute. Be safe,” Nelson says.
While the National Weather Service will study the path of the storm and determine what happened in each community, the people of Seymour are just thankful no one was killed or injured during the storm and the damage can be fixed.
“Looking at the direction of the storm, any further north would have caused some massive issues for us. But, I would definitely say as far as the city is concerned we got very lucky last night,” Police Chief Isaac Schultz said.
Power was still out for the majority of people in Seymour Thursday afternoon. Roads remained blocked because utility poles were either knocked down or leaning over roadways.
About 165,000 homes and businesses in the WPS and We Energies service areas were without power at the peak of the outages. By 6:30 P.M., the utilities said they restored power to about 92,000, leaving about 73,000 left going into the waning hours of sunlight.
A spokesman for the utilities said the extent of the damage is slowing down repairs -- particularly broken power poles that need to be replaced and some areas that are still unreachable due to debris (you can watch the interview here). Utility crews have found substantial damage with more than 1,000 reports of downed trees, snapped power lines, and broken utility poles.
“Communities around the Fox Valley and Green Bay are those hardest hit by the storms. Customers in these areas should be prepared for a multi-day restoration effort,” says WPS spokesman Matt Cullen.
We Energies outage map: https://www.we-energies.com/outagemapext/#
Report downed lines to your local law enforcement. CLICK HERE for safety tips.
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Ready Wisconsin says storm victims should take photos of damage for their insurance company.
Brown County has declared a state of emergency. It allows the county to be eligible for state and federal resources.
“As our friends and neighbors woke up this morning, many found their homes, properties, and belongings damaged or destroyed due to severe weather storms moving through last night,” says County Executive Troy Streckenbach. “Our goal is to ensure that our municipalities, their residents, businesses, and infrastructure can recover safely, and that their can lives return to normal.”
Emergency Alerts were sent to mobile devices Thursday morning urging people not to travel in the area north of Highway 172 in Hobart. There are power lines down and debris in the road.
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The Village of Howard is asking residents to not call public works Thursday unless “there is an absolute emergency situation (e.g. trees on power lines or obstructing roadways).”
“All village crews are working diligently to clean up the storm damage today, and the priority is on the debris that is creating hazardous situations. Due to the devastating damage throughout the village, this likely will take at least a full day or two. There also is no need to schedule brush/branch pickup for next week. Crews will do a village-wide pickup beginning Tuesday. You can start moving your branches and brush to the curb as early as today. Please remember to put branches parallel to the curb with the cut ends all together on one side and not to overlap brush piles with branches. Thank you for your patience as we work together to deal with the aftermath of the storm,” reads a statement from the village.
The Green Bay Metro Fire Department says they responded to about 150 calls for service in Green Bay, Allouez, and Bellevue. Those calls included downed power lines, damaged poles, gas leaks, and damage to homes.
The First Alert Weather Team says it will be a windy and warm day for clean up, but the humidity will be dropping throughout the day. CLICK HERE for the forecast.
The roof of a business on Velp Avenue was blown off. Part of the roof landed in front of the AmericInn motel across the street, shattering the windows of the indoor pool.
The National Weather Service says a tornado was reported in Navarino by a trained weather spotter at about 6:15 P.M.
Members of the Town of Lakewood Fire Department say they helped neighbors in Silver Cliff. The fire station was severely damaged by storms. Fire trucks also sustained damage. There were no injuries.
Action 2 News viewer Riana Ventura Bishop shared photos and videos with Action 2 News showing damage throughout the town. One photo showed trees down at the town hall.
Trees are down in the roads.
The Shawano County Sheriff’s Office says most of the damage to public areas was to power poles and power lines. The highway department has cleared most of the road debris.
HAVE PHOTOS OR VIDEO OF THE STORM? SHARE THEM HERE: https://www.wbay.com/community/user-content/
CLOSINGS AND DELAYS: https://www.wbay.com/weather/closings/
There was more damage to private property, including outbuildings that toppled and trees on the roofs of homes. Deputies contacted each homeowner and determined there were no injuries reported and the homeowners will work with their insurance companies.
A family in the Navarino area is one of those trying to figure out what to do next. As the family emerged from their basement they found trees down in their yard, one covering the driveway, and damage to the garage.
The homeowners quickly got their chainsaw out and got to work, thankful that it was all they had to deal with after the storm.
“Thankful it wasn’t worse and thankful we have a lot of people here to help,” Stacy Bohm said. “My parents, my sister, and her husband will likely stop by, and the community I’m sure will.”
Farther down the road, uprooted trees blocked railroad tracks. Other trees fell on power lines, wiping out power to many in the area.
In the Town of Center, a man was nearly swept up by the storm.
Thinking he had time to secure just a few items before the storm, Ron Nettekoven got caught outside when winds suddenly picked up.
“It happened so fast!” Ron said. “It was quiet.”
Before he could take cover, the shingles from the roof of his house began flying through the air.
“One of those pieces hit me in the face. Knocked my glasses off. They flew way out in the field. And another one hit me in the leg and knocked me down.”
The National Weather Service says a tornado was spotted in western Wisconsin in a storm system which will cross WBAY’s viewing area. A large tornado was confirmed near Tomah at 4:10 P.M. Debris from the tornado could be seen on radar. The NWS issued tornado warnings for other counties, including Waushara and Marathon counties, where thunderstorms were showing signs that could produce a tornado.
The National Weather Service says a confirmed tornado that left debris in its wake was spotted in two west central Wisconsin communities. The La Crosse Tribune reports the tornado spotted Wednesday in Tomah was described as “large and extremely dangerous” and debris has been seen “lofted” on radar. The tornado also was spotted 7 miles northeast of Mauston just before 5 p.m. The tornado was described as “rain-wrapped,” making it difficult to see.
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