3 confirmed tornadoes struck southern Wisconsin

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Associated Press | June 19, 2014

MADISON — Authorities confirmed Tuesday that at least six tornadoes hit Wisconsin overnight, including one packing winds of up to 140 mph that smashed an elementary school near Madison and another that damaged at least five buildings on the University of Wisconsin-Platteville campus in the southwestern part of the state.

A "low-end" EF3 tornado, which can have winds of up to 140 mph, tore roofs from houses and blew down part of Country View Elementary School in Verona, the National Weather Service said. No serious injuries were reported.

In southwestern Wisconsin, a "low-end" EF2 tornado with winds up to 120 mph ran through the UW-Platteville campus, Wisconsin's Emergency Operations Center said. The campus was closed Tuesday and only essential employees were told to report for work.

Roofs of two residential halls were heavily damaged, and there also was extensive damage at Pioneer Stadium, the school's football and soccer stadium. Two large lighting structures were knocked over, one crashing across the bleachers. The concrete foundation underneath those bleachers moved "substantially," UW-P Assistant Chancellor Dennis Cooley told the Dubuque (Iowa) Telegraph Herald.

No injuries were reported on campus. While school is out, Cooley said people were on campus for summer camps, but all were ushered to safety. He said those camps have been canceled.

"We got a glimpse of what nature can do in a moment like this. It inspires a bit of awe," Cooley said. "We were very lucky no people were in the way of that (storm)."

After touring storm damage in Platteville and Verona, Gov. Scott Walker said it appeared most of the owners of damaged homes in the two cities have enough insurance to make necessary repairs, Wisconsin Public Radio reported.

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