The Latest: Walker declares flooding emergency
LA CROSSE, Wis. (AP) — The Latest on heavy rains and flash flooding in Wisconsin and Minnesota (all times local):
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has declared a state of emergency in half-a-dozen counties as storms and floods continue to plague the state.
Walker issued the declaration Tuesday evening for Fond du Lac, Juneau, La Crosse, Monroe, Vernon and Washington counties. He declared a state of emergency in Dane County last week.
The declaration opens the door for federal assistance.
Heavy rains over the last week have caused widespread flooding in southern Wisconsin, resulting in power outages and evacuation. The National Weather Service is investigating reports of a possible tornado that tore across central Wisconsin on Tuesday afternoon.
Rain was expected to continue into Wednesday morning.
The National Weather Service reports possible tornado damage in a swath across central Wisconsin.
The damage extends from southern Marquette County across Green Lake County and into Fond du Lac County.
Storms knocked down trees and power lines in that area Tuesday afternoon. Meteorologist J.J. Wood with the Sullivan National Weather Service says he’s not aware of any injuries.
The Weather Service will send a survey team to confirm if the damage was caused by a tornado.
Western Wisconsin has been dealing with flooding caused by heavy rains. Vernon County spokeswoman Linda Nederlo says close to 120 people were evacuated from the villages of Coon Valley, La Farge and Readstown.
The National Weather Service says parts of southwest and central Wisconsin bombarded with heavy rain Monday night will see more storms and possible flooding Tuesday night into Wednesday morning.
Weather service lead forecaster Bob Oravec says as much as 5 inches of rain is expected in the La Crosse area and reaching parts north of Madison. Oravec says that’s concerning because some of those areas in the state already received nearly a foot of rain over the past 24 hours and that raises the risk of flash flooding in the region.
Parts of southeast Minnesota have also been hit with heavy rainfall that has led to flash flooding.
No injuries have been reported, but about 2,200 Xcel Energy customers in La Crosse lost power and the region has seen nearly 40 road closures.
Another round of storms triggered flash flood warnings overnight across Wisconsin.
The National Weather Service says the western counties of La Crosse, Vernon and Monroe were particularly hard hit with 5 to 11 inches of rain. Authorities say there are evacuations taking place in the Coon Valley area. The weather service says two people were rescued from flood water while camping near the Kickapoo River near Rockton in Vernon County.
Adams County in south central Wisconsin was under a flash flood warning until early Tuesday morning after up to 7 inches of rain fell.
Rain continued to fall through early Tuesday in eastern Wisconsin with another heavy round expected Tuesday night into Wednesday.
The overnight storms largely missed Madison, which is still recovering from last week’s record storm and flooding.