2 Killed as Tornadoes Rip Through Wisconsin, Oklahoma; 25 Hurt
Two people were killed Tuesday — one in Wisconsin and another in Oklahoma — following tornadoes and severe storms that ripped through several states.
The National Weather Service reported 20 tornadoes in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska and Wisconsin on Tuesday.
In northwest Wisconsin, one person was killed and 25 were injured when a reported tornado hit a mobile home park, Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said.
Fitzgerald said local and state officials are calling it a tornado, but that hasn’t been confirmed by the National Weather Service.
Injuries ranged from minor scrapes to people who needed to be carried out on a stretcher.
“I know there were walls on top of people,” Fitzgerald told CNN affiliate WCCO and other media outlets. “I would describe it as total destruction. There’s a whole row where there should be trailers that there’s nothing but debris.”
At least one baby was injured, he said. Approximately 40 trailer homes were destroyed at the Prairie Lake Estate Mobile Park in Cameron, as well as a nearby turkey farm, according to Wisconsin Emergency Management.
A tornado touched down in Rusk County, located in northwest Wisconsin. Emergency officials are reporting seven homes destroyed, according to the state’s emergency management agency. There are no reports of injuries.
In western Oklahoma, a tornado ripped through Beckham County and killed one person.
The victim, whose name hasn’t been released, had been inside a vehicle in a rural area south of Elk City, said Lonnie Risenhoover, the county’s emergency management director.
Risenhoover estimated that about 20 to 30 Elk City area-homes and businesses were damaged and said that crews were out overnight to help residents.
“It’s going to be a long night,” Risenhoover said.
The south side of Elk City was hit hardest by one storm, said Mayor Bill Helton.
“The damage is gut-wrenching,” he said.
Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin tweeted her thoughts and prayers to those affected.
Danny Ringer, spokesman for the city between Oklahoma City and Amarillo, Texas, said there were multiple injuries, but he didn’t give a specific number.
Images shot from a helicopter for CNN affiliate KFOR showed homes with their roofs ripped off. Photos from the scene showed flattened homes and debris and furniture strewn across streets.
A KFOR photojournalist on the ground recorded images of yards filled with debris as residents looked for items to pull out of the wreckage. One home collapsed and first responders rescued an occupant.