Sheriff: At least 20 injured when tornado hits trailer park

Posted at 9:12 PM, May 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-16 21:12:04-04

CHICAGO (AP) — At least 20 people were injured when a tornado hit a mobile home park Tuesday near a small town in western Wisconsin, Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald told KSTP-TV.

The tornado damaged the Prairie Lakes Estates trailer park north of Chetek. The National Weather Service reported a touchdown in the area just after 5:30 p.m.

Helicopter video from WCCO-TV shows extensive damage at the trailer park, with several homes reduced to rubble.

Sheriff’s dispatchers say they’re too busy to provide details. Chetek is about 110 miles (177.02 kilometers) northeast of Minneapolis/St. Paul.

Chetek Mayor Jeff Martin told KSTP-TV that numerous emergency vehicles have gone to the trailer park. He estimated the park had around 50 homes.

The Wisconsin tornado was part of a huge swath of the Plains and Upper Midwest threatened with severe weather. The area stretches from the Texas Panhandle through Oklahoma, western Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa into Minnesota and Wisconsin.

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

The storm struck a subdivision about 7:15 p.m. Tuesday just south of Elk City, Oklahoma, about 110 miles (177 kilometers) west of Oklahoma City.

“A lot of tornado damage” has been reported to the subdivision and surrounding rural area, with some homes and outbuildings damaged severely and utility poles and lines downed, said Beckham County Emergency Management Director Lonnie Risenhoover. Cattle have been killed, but Risenhoover said he had no immediate reports of people injured.

Other tornadoes in western Oklahoma and the eastern Texas Panhandle have downed power lines and utility poles, but there were no immediate reports of injuries.

The National Weather Service said it had received numerous reports of tornadoes, hail and strong winds.