Gov. Walker declares state of emergency for Barron, Jackson, Rusk counties
- Author: Zachary Reyes May 24, 2017,
May 24, 2017, 23:31
The National Weather Service confirmed the EF3 tornado was actually on the ground for 27 miles with maximum winds of about 165 mph.
"It's all leveled. All the way to the road", a resident said.
Governor Walker surveyed the damage Wednesday afternoon near Chetek, where a tornado hit a Prairie Lake Estate mobile home park Tuesday night.
Fallin told reporters that it's never easy seeing people who have lost their homes. He says the survivors are going to need help for some time to come.
State officials activated the response Tuesday night when a tornado touched down in parts of Barron County.
More than two dozen tornado sightings were reported to the National Weather Service Tuesday night across the five states of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska and Wisconsin.
The enhanced F-scale runs from EF0 to EF5. The Storm Prediction Center, which specializes in forecasting and gathering data on tornadoes, says that high winds during a tornado can rip a mobile home without a foundation from its moorings.
The weather service says the twister packed winds of 120 to 130 miles per hour, or even slightly stronger, when it hit the park near Chetek on Tuesday evening.
Forecasters warned of another round of powerful storms on the horizon.
More storms are possible on Friday, with a medium potential for tornadoes. This is what's left of a turkey barn.
"I thought we were done", said Tyson. Some homes and outbuildings were damaged severely and power lines and utility poles were downed.
With no homes to return to, residents stayed Tuesday and Wednesday with family members, friends or motels. In 2011, when devastating tornadoes struck in Joplin, Missouri, and in Alabama and MS, 111 of the 551 people killed nationwide in tornadoes, or 20 percent, were in mobile homes, according to the Storm Prediction Center website.
It devastated 50 to 60 trailer homes and injured 25 people, 17 of whom were taken to hospitals.
Dale Daily, 61, said he heard the warning siren about a half-hour before the tornado hit the mobile home park. "There's nothing left", Jackson said.
Daily said he walked among the debris and helped free a man who was buried under a refrigerator and debris.
"It was just chaos. Again, because we're just not used to that kind of thing", he said.
Another tornado struck in western Oklahoma rural area, but right now has no reports of injuries.