Several tornadoes touch down in the Plains, Midwest during severe weather Tuesday

Several tornadoes touch down in the Plains, Midwest during severe weather Tuesday
Several tornadoes touch down in the Plains, Midwest during severe weather Tuesday
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22 May, 2017

The dead man was identified as 45-year-old Eric Gavin, whose body was found in a tree after the storm had passed.

The weather service says the twister packed winds of 120 to 130 miles per hour, or even slightly stronger, when it hit the trailer park near Chetek on Tuesday evening. Nolan escaped with just a couple of scratches, he said.

Daily says he walked among the debris and helped free a man who was buried under a refrigerator and debris.

"Somebody was watching out for us because it went all the way around us, and here we are", said White. A spokesman for the National Weather Service confirmed that it was a tornado, but the agency was still trying to determine the twister's strength.

At this time, no volunteers are needed and Fitzgerald urged curious on-lookers to stay away so that cleanup crews and utility companies could work.

Another tornado struck a rural area in western Oklahoma, leaving damage in its wake but no immediate reports of injuries.

Firefighters work the site of the damage after a tornado ripped through Prairie Lake Estates trailer home park, just north of Chetek, Wis., Tuesday, May 16, 2017.

Scattered tornadoes have been reported in the nation's midsection.

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Governor Scott Walker has declared a state of emergency in three northwest Wisconsin counties damaged by a strong tornado on Tuesday, which killed on person and left dozens more homeless. In fact, even the cabins and homes around Lake Chetek suffered solemn damage, with most damage hitting a mobile home park and several turkey farms.

"It sounded like a machine gun", a resident said.

Fitzgerald described the scene to KMSP-TV as "total devastation" and said first responders could hear people yelling for help when they arrived. At midday, forecasters issued a "particularly unsafe situation" tornado watch for western Oklahoma and western north Texas as the storms began to gather steam. Tornadoes are possible. Storms could produce excessive rainfall into Saturday morning, especially in south-central and southwest Oklahoma.

"We're pretty certain it's a tornado", said Bill Borghoff, lead meteorologist with the National Weather Service. Cattle have been killed, but he says he has no immediate reports of human injuries.

The tornadoes, some of them still unverified a day later, touched down in five states: Wisconsin and Oklahoma, which each had one death and about 40 homes destroyed, and Texas, Kansas and Nebraska.

Forecasters warn more severe weather remains a danger for the rest of the week.

Sandra Jackson was one of the residents who returned Wednesday to see what could be salvaged from their homes. "But in these situations when you have a tornado like this you get a lot of rainstorms coming in the back side of it and that make the recovery effort so much hard".


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