Two killed in USA tornadoes

Faith Castro
May 19, 2017

Authorities say at least one person died and an estimated 25 others were injured when a tornado struck a trailer park near Chetek in western Wisconsin. No details of the fatality were given. "We've carried elderly, we've been contacted b several people that want to help", said Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald from the Barron County Sheriff's Department.

The mayor of Chetek, Jeff Martin, said in an interview with KSTP-TV that quite a number of emergency vehicles responded to the scene where the tornado touched down at the trailer park, located about 4 miles north of Chetek.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker toured the destruction Wednesday afternoon.

Bynum, 48, said he was doing what many people do when the weather picks up: watching it in his yard.

"It's a mess", Fitzgerald told the Leader-Telegram of Eau Claire. The spotter said in the report, "trailer homes were hit and walls were on top of people".

Devin Feuerhelm's sister, Lenna Samuelson, lives in the park with her two daughters, Ashley and Brenna.

Their home? Flattened. The SUV next to it? A short time later, while cooking supper with his wife, Black said the tornado picked the entire trailer about five foot off the ground before slamming it back on its foundation.

Amazingly, the infant grandson escaped with just a couple of scratches, he said.

Jennie-O also confirmed a turkey farm near Chetek's Prairie Lake Estates mobile park suffered damage from Tuesday's tornado. He says he and his wife drove away to safety and returned just after the twister left the area to find the park in ruins. He says the survivors are going to need help for some time to come. "I thought this is it".

The governor toured the damaged areas Wednesday, while the National Weather Service classified the tornado as an EF-2 plus - with peak winds of 120 miles per hour.

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The emergency shelter was set up at Mosaic Telecom.

The Sheriff's Office asked members of the community to stop bringing donations for now until needs can be assessed. 53 in the Barron County town of Prairie Lake, about midway between Chetek and Cameron.

Many of his neighbors in the trailer park weren't so fortunate.

The Salvation Army, Red Cross and the Barron County Health and Human Services Departments were working on relief efforts. Eric Gavin was killed and about two dozen others were injured when the twister churned through the area Tuesday evening.

Meteorologist Greg Dial, with the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma, says an outbreak of severe storms and tornadoes in possible this afternoon and evening.

"The worst", Fitzgerald said the extent of the damage.

In Taylor County, several power power poles and lines were down in the Stetsonville area. "I thank the Wisconsin National Guard, Wisconsin Emergency Management, and all state agencies for their coordinated response to this emergency". Trees were uprooted, power lines were knocked down, and roofs were ripped off of homes.

A tornado warning was issued just before 5 p.m., and numerous fire trucks and ambulances from Rice Lake were seen driving south around 5:30 p.m.

The apparent tornado damage was near Chetek, WI, Mobile home Park known as Prairie Lake Estates. "They are working house to house, home to home, looking for people".

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