Wisconsin town is hit hard by a rare, winter tornado - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

Wisconsin town is hit hard by a rare, winter tornado

 

 

by Rob Stafford
WMAQ News

A power storm system swept across the Midwest and Great Lakes Monday, spawning several tornadoes.  One of the hardest hit town was Wheatland, Wisconsin.  The town suffered heavy damage, but luckily no serious injuries.

This was the lestarge family's home. Now, it's gone.

Bob Lestarge says, "loud crash, stuff started falling off the walls, the windows blew out like out of nowhere.  It was scary."

The siren gave his family enough time to scramble to the basement.

Their ears popped from the pressure.

Then the sound so often described when tornadoes hit.

Bob Lestarge says, "it sounded like a freight train rolling through."

Remarkably, they survived without a scratch, crawling out of the debris and into what used to be a neighborhood.

The sheriff here thought he'd seen everything, until tonight.

Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth says, "I've never, ever seen any, the devastation that's here in Kenosha County here tonight.  In 25 years, I've never seen this before."

Refrigerators tossed like toys, boats thrown threw the air, trucks and trailers twisted beyond all recognition.

You can see the path of the tornado by looking at the houses still standing.  This one's here, but look over here, it's gone.  Appliances left behind.   The rest of the house ripped off the foundation and tossed through the neighborhood.

Wheatland, Wisconsin is still counting the number of lost homes, but also counting its blessings.

Homeowner Scott Clanton says, "I lost my garage door, some of my pool, and part of my porch, but I'm lucky I got my house and my family safe."

At least 11 houses were destroyed and another nine were damaged.

About 13 people were injured though none seriously.

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