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Reported tornado in Unity, weather damage across area

Reported tornado in Unity, weather damage across area Reported tornado in Unity, weather damage across area

By Nathaniel Underwood

Severe weather tore through central Wisconsin on Tuesday night, causing damage and leaving thousands without power. After receiving mild precipitation throughout the day, a storm system laden with heavy rains and wind gusts measuring from 60 to 80 miles per hour ripped across Clark and Marathon counties starting around 7 p.m. The late-spring conditions perfect for tornadoes which led to warnings being issued in both counties.

At 7:41 p.m., the National Weather Service made note that severe thunderstorms capable of producing both tornadoes and extensive straight line winds were located eight miles northeast of Spencer and that radar had indicated rotation. Then, at 7:45 p.m., the National Weather Service received a report from local law enforcement that a member of the public reported that a tornado had touched down on the ground near Unity.

The resulting damage was still clear the morning after as residents tried to clean up after the storm. Several homes had taken significant damage, with caved roofs and siding ripped from exterior walls. Numerous trees were snapped in half or torn completely up by the roots and power lines were down in multiple areas around town. Debris from the damaged buildings could be found scattered across lawns blocks away from their origin, an indication of the strength of the winds at play.

Unity was not the only community effected by Tuesday night’s storms. Clark Electric Cooperative reported that all 257 customers in the town of Brighton were without power around 9 p.m., as were 95.35 percent of customers in the town of


AFTERMATH OF THE STORM - Trees and houses were damaged along Madison Street in Unity during the severe thunderstorms Tuesday night. A tornado having touched down in the village was reported to the National Weather Service.


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Holton, 95.32 percent in the town of Unity, 86.57 percent in the town of Hull, 38.71 percent in the town of Green Grove and 35.32 percent in the town of Colby. The Wisconsin Electric Cooperative Association reported that 12,555 electric cooperative member consumers were without power around the same time.

By Wednesday morning, much of the townships power had been restored, with Clark Electric reporting most townships having customer totals in single percentage points by 10 a.m.

The school district of Abbotsford stated via their Facebook page that they were able to provide shelter for 40 residents during the storms, utilizing the new FEMA building to accommodate people without a safe place to shelter during the severe weather.

DAMAGE IN UNITY - A row of trees with their upper branches torn completely off in Unity and a safety sign still stand among the debris on Wednesday morning following the destructive storm the evening prior.