Share

Wisconsin Tornadoes: 6 Twisters Confirmed, UW-Platteville Coach Moves 150 Children to Safety During Storms

June 18, 2014

The National Weather Service said six tornadoes hit Wisconsin late Monday night and early Tuesday morning as severe storms moved from the Plains to the Midwest.

An EF3 tornado with winds as high as 140 mph hit the town of Verona, near Madison, at around midnight Tuesday morning, heavily damaging an elementary school. Earlier in the evening, a confirmed high-end EF2 tornado hit the town of Platteville, southwest of Madison. Winds in that twister were as high as 120 mph, leaving damage at the UW-Platteville campus but no injuries.

An EF1 tornado was confirmed near Platteville Golf and Country Club, and the NWS said it identified three other tornadoes – two in Green County and one more in far northwestern Madison.

"This was a nightmare scenario: Rotation embedded in a squall line of severe thunderstorms, at night, after many may have went to sleep," said weather.com senior meteorologist Jon Erdman. "There had not been a single tornado anywhere in the Badger State so far in 2014, the latest wait for the year's first tornado, there, since 1997."

(MORE: Deaths Reported in Devastating Nebraska Tornadoes)

At the UW-Platteville campus, head basketball coach Jeff Gard moved quickly to get about 150 children to shelters as a tornado closed in on the campus. The children, ages 8 to 17, were attending a basketball camp at the school and were sleeping on the top floor of Rountree Commons residence hall.

Athletic director Mark Molesworth tells the State Journal coach Gard was at his computer, heard a noise and saw the approaching tornado early Tuesday. Gard woke the children and moved them to an interior room. The dorm sustained extensive roof damage when the tornado hit.

Other children attending band, engineering and pre-college camps were taken to safe shelters during the storm and then sent home. The camps have been canceled.

(MORE: How You Can Help the Victims in Pilger, Nebraska)

Officials have declared a state of emergency in Dane County in order to make storm damage recovery assistance available to residents who need it.

Emergency managers said the north side of Verona and the southwest side of Madison suffered the brunt of the damage.

Dane County Emergency Management officials received about 350 reports of storm damage after the storm packing dangerously high winds hit shortly after midnight. Some 15 homes in the city of Verona sustained severe damage.

(MORE: Flooding Strands Drivers on South Dakota Roads)

Country View Elementary School in Verona partially collapsed, according to police Lt. David Dresser. No serious injuries were reported. The department will take an inventory of damaged homes and other structures later Tuesday.

Early Tuesday, Madison Mayor Paul Soglin surveyed the damage at homes on the state capital's southwest side where winds had blown away at least six roofs.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

MORE: Nebraska Tornadoes Demolish Town

South Dakota Tornadoes

South Dakota Tornadoes

Storm chaser Roger Hill and his tour group, Silver Lining Tours, saw a total of eight tornadoes during their chase Wednesday, June 18, 2014, in South Dakota. (Roger Hill/Silver Lining Tours)

  • South Dakota Tornadoes
  • South Dakota Tornadoes
  • South Dakota Tornadoes
  • South Dakota Tornadoes
  • South Dakota Tornadoes
  • Wessington Springs, South Dakota
  • Wessington Springs, South Dakota
  • Wessington Springs, South Dakota
  • Woonsocket, South Dakota
  • Mentor, Ohio
  • Concord, Ohio
  • Mentor, Ohio
  • Alpena, South Dakota
  • Pilger, Nebraska
  • Pilger, Nebraska
  • Pilger, Nebraska
  • Pilger, Nebraska
  • Pilger, Nebraska
  • Pilger, Nebraska
  • Pilger, Nebraska
  • Pilger, Nebraska
  • Pilger, Nebraska
  • Pilger, Nebraska
  • Pilger, Nebraska
  • Pilger, Nebraska
  • Pilger, Nebraska
  • Geneva, Ohio
  • Mentor, Ohio
  • Oak Harbor, Ohio
  • Coleridge, Nebraska
  • Coleridge, Nebraska
  • Coleridge, Nebraska
  • Pilger, Nebraska
  • Pilger, Nebraska
  • Pilger, Nebraska
  • Pilger, Nebraska
  • Pilger, Nebraska
  • Pilger, Nebraska
  • Pilger, Nebraska
  • Pilger, Nebraska
  • Pilger, Nebraska
  • Wakefield, Nebraska
  • Pilger, Nebraska
  • Madison, Wisconsin
  • Pilger, Nebraska
  • Pilger, Nebraska
  • Pilger, Nebraska
  • Pilger, Nebraska
  • Pilger, Nebraska
  • Pilger, Nebraska
  • Pilger, Nebraska
  • Pilger, Nebraska
  • Pilger, Nebraska
  • Pilger, Nebraska
  • Pilger, Nebraska
  • Pilger, Nebraska
  • Pilger, Nebraska
  • Pilger, Nebraska
  • Pilger, Nebraska
  • Pilger, Nebraska
  • Pilger, Nebraska
  • Pilger, Nebraska
  • Pilger, Nebraska
  • Pilger, Nebraska
  • Pilger, Nebraska
  • Pilger, Nebraska
  • Pilger, Nebraska
  • Pilger, Nebraska
  • Pilger, Nebraska
  • Pilger, Nebraska
  • Pilger, Nebraska
  • Pilger, Nebraska
  • Pilger, Nebraska
  • Pilger, Nebraska
  • Pilger, Nebraska
  • Pilger, Nebraska
  • Pilger, Nebraska
  • Canton, South Dakota
  • Sioux Falls, South Dakota
  • Sioux Falls, South Dakota
  • Sioux Falls, South Dakota
  • Sioux Falls, South Dakota
  • Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Featured Blogs

Odile Nearing the Arizona Border; Polo Nearly a Hurricane; Edouard Weakens to Cat 1

By Dr. Jeff Masters
September 17, 2014

Tropical Storm Odile is being pulled apart by wind shear as it tracks northeast at 6 mph across the northern Gulf of California. At 11 am EDT Wednesday, Odile was still a minimal 40 mph tropical storm, and had advanced within 110 miles of the Arizona border. Only two other named storms since 1949 are recorded to have maintained tropical storm strength so close to Arizona.

August 2014 Global Weather Extremes Summary

By Christopher C. Burt
September 12, 2014

August featured a record heat wave in the Baltics and Belarus, record cold in Northern Ireland, extreme rainfall events along the U.S. East Coast and in Michigan. Deadly flooding in Nepal and India killed at least 200 and Typhoon Halong hit Japan. A rare tropical storm struck the Big Island of Hawaii. Perth, Australia had its warmest August on record while Darwin measured its coldest August temperature on record.

Live Blog: Tracking Hurricane Arthur as it Approaches North Carolina Coast

By Shaun Tanner
July 3, 2014

This is a live blog set up to provide the latest coverage on Hurricane Arthur as it threatens the North Carolina Coast. Check back often to see what the latest is with Arthur. The most recent updates are at the top.

Tropical Terminology

By Stu Ostro
June 30, 2014

Here is some basic, fundamental terminology related to tropical cyclones. Rather than a comprehensive and/or technical glossary, this represents the essence of the meaning & importance of some key, frequently used terms.

2013-14 - An Interesting Winter From A to Z

By Tom Niziol
May 15, 2014

It was a very interesting winter across a good part of the nation from the Rockies through the Plains to the Northeast. Let's break down the most significant winter storms on a month by month basis.

What the 5th IPCC Assessment Doesn't Include

By Angela Fritz
September 27, 2013

Melting permafrost has the potential to release an additional 1.5 trillion tons of carbon into the atmosphere, and could increase our global average temperature by 1.5°F in addition to our day-to-day human emissions. However, this effect is not included in the IPCC report issued Friday morning, which means the estimates of how Earth's climate will change are likely on the conservative side.