Residents, NWS assess damage in Walworth Co. following severe weather

Published: Apr. 1, 2023 at 6:55 PM CDT
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WALWORTH CO., Wis. (WMTV) - The National Weather Service (NWS) and residents in south central Wisconsin are observing the extent of damage Saturday following Friday’s severe weather.

Several counties across the area experienced significant damage after a storm system that prompted tornado warnings across the region.

NWS spent several hours in Walworth County, where there were reports of tornadoes touching down.

Shelly Sparks heard the tornado sirens from her home in the City of Elkhorn and immediately went to the basement. After the alarms stopped, Sparks went back upstairs to observe the damage.

“I’m gonna look out into the yard through the patio blinds and see if I could see any trees down,” Sparks said. “I look out and I’m like, ‘What is that? That doesn’t look right, the garage doesn’t look right.’ So, we started gathering flashlights and turning on lights and realized that the garage was leveled.”

The Sparks' garage was leveled following Friday's severe weather.
The Sparks' garage was leveled following Friday's severe weather.(WMTV)

Warning Coordination Meteorologist with the Milwaukee National Weather Service Tim Halbach said the damage is impressive, but not surprising.

“The damage matched up with what we saw on radars so what we’re doing right now is just trying to see how far the damage goes and how intense it was and [if] there’s worse parts,” Halbach said. “Once we do the entire path and have confirmed the amount of damage that’s occurred, we’ll confirm confirm that it’s a tornado.”

Halbach added that pieces of debris being lifted up into the air is often a sign that a tornado passed through.

“Matching up with you know, the things that we would typically see, you don’t get pieces of sheet metal like this a mile north unless it’s a tornado. It’s just a matter of how intense is it.”

NWS said it is going county to county surveying the damage from the storms and will release a more comprehensive report in the next few days.

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