Tornadoes Rake Southern Wisconsin

National Weather Service confirms an EF-2 and EF-1 touched down

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Three friends were outside when a tornado struck in the southern Wisconsin town of Platteville. (Published Tuesday, Jun 17, 2014)

    Three Wisconsin friends went for quite a ride Monday night when tornadoes swept through the town of Platteville.

    Lizzie Hanson, Allison Scheer, and Vasiliki Fafadios were standing outside at about 11 p.m. when conditions went from slighty stormy to extremely dangerous.

    "The wind swept us off our feet and shoved us down the ravine," Hanson said.

    "The whole time that we were out there, especially when I was clinging to her on that hill, I started thinking, 'What is my body going to look like when they find us," Scheer said.

    Tornadoes Rake Southern Wisconsin

    [CHI] Tornadoes Rake Southern Wisconsin
    National Weather Service confirms an EF-2 and EF-1 touched down Monday night. NBC 5's Anthony Ponce reports. (Published Tuesday, Jun 17, 2014)

    The friends suffered welts and bruises in the tornado, but no serious injuries.

    Plattesville residents were picking up the pieces Tuesday after the tornadoes produced dangerous winds that tore roofs off houses and blew down part of an elementary school. At least six people were injured by flying glass, one seriously.

    The National Weather Service later confirmed two tornadoes, an EF-2 and an EF-1, swept through the area, which means they packed wind speeds of between 105 and 120 miles per hour.

    "We were laying in bed around 11 o'clock last night and we heard a freight train and I threw my wife under a blanket and the windows blew," resident Mitchell Ivanov said. "We ran upstairs and grabbed our kids and put them down in the storm shelter we have in the basement and we came outside to see if we could help."

    Roger Magby says his mother's tenant was badly injured after her home collapsed in the storm.

    "She's in pretty bad shape, she's in Madison, they had to med-flight her to Madison last night," Magby said.

    Dane County emergency managers said there were about 250 reports of storm damage, including 15 homes in Verona that sustained severe damage. The Salvation Army set up a shelter at Memorial Baptist Church for displaced Verona residents.

    At least five buildings were damaged on the University of Wisconsin-Plattesville campus.

    Administrators said the university will be closed Tuesday and only essential employees should report to work.
     

    A major cleanup effort has already started with dozens of volunteers, including students and teachers, chipping in.

    "One thing about tragedies is it brings people together and it brings the best out in people which, it's unfortunate, but it's also a blessing in that people are just working really hard," Patti Mitch said.