Unstable weather strikes Rock County

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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

JANESVILLE--Severe thunderstorms hit southern Wisconsin this week, and the dangerous weather hasn't completely passed.

The Rock County Sheriff's Office reported minor damage across the county. Avalon Road is closed because of severe damage.

The storm destroyed trees, moved a shed off its foundation and blew a carport into power lines, knocking out electricity for residents on Avalon Road.

The sheriff's office discovered swirl marks in the grass, evidence that a small tornado could have touched down.

“Furniture was scattered into the fields where it was picked up and blown,” Sheriff Robert Spoden said.

The road should be open later today and electricity restored soon, he said.

The sheriff's offfice didn't notice any significant flooding except in open fields, but it  anticipates that a flood watch could be issued later today, Spoden said.

Deputies will check flood gauges throughout the county as the storms continue.

The National Weather Service has confirmed that six tornadoes have touched down in southern Wisconsin since Monday. As of 10 a.m., more than 17,000 power outages were reported, according to a news release.

Weather conditions are unstable and rapidly changing, and the humidity provides an opportunity for more storms to hit, Spoden said.

“Pay attention to the weather and follow the local newscast. If you're going to be outside, take heed,” he said.

The sheriff also offered advice to anyone caught in a storm. If the weather picks up, anyone outside should seek shelter in a ditch or under an overpass.

“The worst thing you can do is try to outrun any type of storm or tornado,” Spoden said.

“We've seen across the Midwest a lot of unsettling weather that's picked up quickly,” he said. “Heed warnings to keep yourself and your family safe.”

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