MAUSTON, Wis. – Tornadoes swept across Wisconsin amid a severe weather outbreak Wednesday afternoon damaging multiple buildings, including a hospital.
One tornado went through the town of Mauston, Wisconsin, sending people scrambling for safety.
"We definitely had a tornado pass through Mauston," Randy Reeg, City Administrator for the town of Mauston, told FOX Weather. "We were helping people shelter people in place here at city hall from those in trailer parks and those out and about, and we were able to witness the rotating cloud and the debris in the air."
National Weather Service meteorologists surveyed damage on Thursday and determined that the twister was an EF-1 that had winds of around 90 mph.
"You could hear the stereotypical roar -- it sounded a bit like a train," he continued. "And then as the sky darkened, and the clouds lowered, and we started to see some rotation, people scampered and scurried into here. They were shocked and scared and panicked a bit, and we took care of them for a half-hour or so until the imminent threat had passed."
Mauston Mayor Dennis Nielsen announced Wednesday night that he had declared a disaster in the community and crews would continue to assess the extent of the damage over the next several days.
Officials that the Mile Bluff Medical Center said the facility suffered minor damage when the storms rolled through Wednesday evening.
"There was damage to trees and vehicles on our grounds, and minor damage to our facility," the hospital said in a Facebook post. "Patients, residents and staff members were sheltered safely during the brunt of the storm."
Officials also said the facility lost power and was running on backup generators, but expected to get the electricity back up and running by late Wednesday night or Thursday morning.
"We've got reports of partial roofs missing from a hotel in town, shingles off everywhere," Reeg said. "We had some semis toppled over at a gas station, so there's definitely been some damage and we haven't been able to fully assess it yet."
The National Weather Service said their radar indicated the tornado was on the ground for several miles.
"We know a tornado touched down -- probably has somewhere around a 10-mile path because of those debris signatures we saw on radar," meteorologist Dan Baumgardt with the National Weather Service in La Crosse told FOX Weather. "That was the most violent -- that could be a strong tornado."
Tornado damage was also reported in the nearby town of Tomah. Storm chaser video showed trees down and twisted wreckage of some small buildings.
Spotters reported multiple tractor trailers were blown over near the interchange between Interstate 90 and Interstate 94.
Radar indicated a third tornado likely struck as well. There are no reports of any injuries so far.
As storms continued through the Badger State, a tornado was reported in Shawano County. Spotters reported a twister touching down in Navarino.
The tornado threat decreased as the storms swept to the east, but thunderstorms were still producing strong winds amid their fury. Westfield, Wisconsin recorded a gust of 80 mph, while Redgranite had a gust of 70 mph.
Appleton and Green Bay both recorded a gust of 59 mph and spotters reported multiple trees and power lines down. Wind damage reports also came in from Wautoma, Menasha, Seymour, Markesan, Pardeeville, Stevens Point and Crivitz, to name a few.
Over 123,000 people were without power in Wisconsinafter the storms, according to PowerOutage.US. That included about 33,000 in Brown County – home to Green Bay – which represented about 66% of the county's electrical customers.
A line of severe storms that brings a continued threat of strong tornadoes, damaging straight line winds and large hail, will continue to push east across Wisconsin Wednesday evening.
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