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Rusk County News


In a Press release from the Rusk County Sheriff’s Office, on May 16, 2017 at approximately 4:00 PM, Rusk County was placed under a tornado watch. At approximately 5:50 PM it was reported a tornado on the ground in the Highway 8/County Highway W area in the township of Strickland. The tornado traveled easterly through the county, touching down in several places. Included in the path of the tornado were the Lake Amacoy and Conrath areas, which sustained the most severe damage. We escaped the tornado with a few minor injuries but sustained heavy damage to public and private properties. Severe damage was sustained to homes and rural farms. Many trees and power lines were down and crews are working around the clock attempting to restore electricity and clear blocked roadways. Anybody offering assistance, please contact the Sheriff’s Office at 715-532-2189.

According to the Rusk County call log, The Weyerhaeuser Fire Department reported a tornado on the ground at approximately 5:50 PM near Cranberry Lake Road. The funnel cloud was East bound along Highway 8 East of Weyerhaeuser. At about 6 PM a Rusk County deputy reported a tornado on the ground on Highway 8 and Adams road. At 6:22 PM, large hail was reported in the City of Ladysmith.

In Conrath, the home of John and Eileen Polak was flattened. The Polaks say they were in the basement of their home when the storms rolled through earlier Tuesday evening. John and Eileen and their dog were able to get out safe but were shaken up.

At 7:18 PM, a call to the Rusk County Sheriff’s Office advised that his mother and father were trapped in their house on Bear Paw Road, Bruce. The Bruce Fire Department was at the scene and advised that all subjects were accounted for and uninjured.

Also a tree was on fire at County Highway B which was on a power line. The Hawkins Fire Department responded to the scene. Just after 9 PM, Rusk County dispatch advised that power lines were on Prairie Road and Cloverland Road, Ladysmith and a lot of traffic were trying to cross them.

Just after 4 AM this (Wednesday) morning, a 911 call advised that a tree was down on a power line and the tree was on fire on Highway 27 near Sillman Road. The Ladysmith Fire Department responded to the scene. The power line was off the tree and during the removal of the tree, it knocked out power which was restored shortly.

BARRON COUNTY, Wis. (WEAU) — The Barron County Sheriff’s Department is releasing new details after a tornado touched down Tuesday night.

According to Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald, a 46-year-old man was found dead following the storm. Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald has identified the man killed in Tuesday night’s storm as Eric Gavin,45.  A post on the Barron County Sheriff’s Department Facebook page says crews responded to the Prairie Lake Estate Mobile Home Park around 5:30 p.m Tuesday night. The mobile home park contained 50-60 trailers and several of them are destroyed. First responders searched through the rubble overnight, and all area residents of the mobile home park have been accounted for.

The department says 17 people were taken from the scene to area hospitals with approximately 5-10 more were hurt who refused treatment.

A shelter and reception center is open in Cameron at the Mosaic Telephone Company. Barron County authorities are asking the community to not bring any more donations to the emergency shelter located at Mosaic Telecom in Cameron at this time due to limited space. The department says it plans to update the public on where donations can be dropped off until all needs are assessed.

(Chetek, WI)  —  The Barron County sheriff says no one is missing after Tuesday’s tornado at a mobile home park near Chetek. Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald now says a 46-year-old man died in the rubble and as many as 27 are now said to be injured, with 17 going to hospitals — and the sheriff says 50 to 60 mobile homes were destroyed, more than an earlier figure of 40 at the Prairie Lake Estates park where Governor Scott Walker plans to inspect the damage this (Wednesday) afternoon. Other damage was reported in Barron and Rusk counties where up to four tornadoes landed, and the National Weather Service is surveying the damage more closely today (Wednesday). Meanwhile, a flood warning was extended until noon for parts of Buffalo, Trempealeau, and Jackson counties where as many as five inches of rain fell, closing a number of roads and causing a few waters to rise. Forecasts call for more rain and storms during the afternoon and evening in much of Wisconsin.

LADYSMITH, Wis. (WEAU) — The Wisconsin Red Cross has a reception center in Ladysmith open for residents affected by the storms Tuesday afternoon.

The reception center is located at 311 East Miner Ave. in Ladysmith. Anyone affected by the storms Tuesday night should go get assistance.

The American Red Cross has a reception center open in Cameron for those affected by the storms Tuesday afternoon.

The center is located at the Mosaic Telecom business in downtown Cameron. Anyone affected by the storm that needs assistance should go to the center to get help.

CHETEK, Wis. (WEAU) — Chetek-Weyerhaeuser High School/Middle School kitchen will be serving meals to anyone needing food from 11:30-2:30ish.

Any volunteers, victims, or people just needing a meal are welcome to come.

CW staff members are also willing to deliver meals if you or someone you know needs some food or water.

The staff would you like you to  call 906-364-4335 if you’d like some help.

Eau Claire (WQOW) –

A day after a tornado impacted portions of Barron and Rusk Counties, more thunderstorms are expected today with a chance of severe weather.

NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center has included the Eau Claire area and a large portion of west central Wisconsin in a “slight” risk for severe weather, which means “scattered severe storms are possible.” A higher, “enhanced” risk of severe weather is present for southeast Minnesota and southwest Wisconsin, meaning “numerous severe storms are possible.” All threats are possible today, including large hail, damaging winds, isolated tornadoes, and flash flooding.

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