Janesville72°

Storms ravage southern Wisconsin on Monday afternoon

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Gazette staff
June 30, 2014

JANESVILLE—Severe weather that swept through southern Wisconsin on Monday night left trees and power lines down across the area. 

The southeastern and northwestern corners of Rock County appeared to be the hardest hit, Rock County Sheriff’s Sgt. Shena Kohler said. County and municipal crews were working with Alliant Energy and Rock Energy to clear trees and restore power, she said.

“They’re going to be out for several more hours,” she said at 10 p.m. Monday.

Strong straight-line winds caused damage to new buildings and sheds, she said.

Officials were still assessing damage and were in contact with state emergency management officials, Kohler said.

She said a report of a vehicle being lifted up or flipped over in the storm was false, and she had no information to confirm that report.

In Janesville, police reported only a couple trees down that city crews picked up.

Janesville paramedics transported one man to Mercy Hospital and Trauma Center for unknown injuries after he collapsed outside his vehicle during the storm, Janesville police Lt. Terry Sheridan said.

The man was stopped in traffic on Highway 14 near Interstate 90/39 around 5:15 p.m., and witnesses reported he got out of the vehicle, possibly to do something with a windshield wiper, Sheridan said.

The man collapsed and was unconscious with a head injury, Sheridan said. The man appeared to have been burned or struck by lightning, Sheridan said.

“The hospital reported to the officer they were not ruling out the possibility of a lightning strike, but they weren’t confirming it either,” he said.

Firefighters were called to deal with arcing wires at Highway 14 and County H, but Alliant Energy already was on scene, Janesville Fire Department Shift Commander Ron Bomkamp said.

A flood warning is in effect for the Rock and Sugar rivers in Rock and Green counties.

Minor flooding is forecast on the Rock River, which was at 8 feet Monday afternoon in Afton. Flood stage is 9 feet. The river is expected to rise to near 10 feet by Tuesday afternoon, according to the National Weather Service.

Severe thunderstorms packing high winds and heavy rain downed trees and power lines all across southern Wisconsin. 

Winds gusted as high as 78 mph near Lancaster in Grant County in the southwest corner of Wisconsin as storms began sweeping from west to east Monday. Trees were toppled from Grant County to the Milwaukee area. Street flooding also hit Madison.

We Energies reports more than 90,000 customers lost power in the greater Milwaukee area, and around 9,000 Alliant Energy customers lost power across the rest of southern Wisconsin. 

The National Weather Service also said Monday that its survey team confirmed an EF-2 tornado tracked through Iowa County and an EF-1 tornado hit rural Dane County on Sunday evening. Both damaged trees and buildings but caused no injuries.



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