Dodge County declared a state of emergency Wednesday after a powerful thunderstorms blew through its northern reaches Tuesday afternoon.
The villages of Brownsville, Lomira and Theresa also declared states of emergency and all are seeking assistance from the county and the state. The villages and surrounding towns were hit with widespread property damage from toppled trees and downed power lines. Waupun declared a state of emergency Tuesday night.
The county is unaware of any injuries as crews work to address the power lines and downed trees. Residents are asked to avoid power lines that may still be energized and to charge electronic devices in vehicles.
Over 3,500 people were left without power after the storm. According to a press release from Dodge County Emergency Management director Amy Nehls, We Energies expected to have a large majority of power restored by Wednesday evening.
The county also asked that residents take pictures and report property damage to their insurance companies, while moving basement valuables to higher ground with sump pumps not working.
In the afternoon, county deputies responded to a few reports in the area of semi-trucks that blew over and cars hit by trees.
A detour was created around State Highway 49 through Brownsville due to a large power line that fell onto the road.
The National Weather Service confirmed that an F-1 tornado landed at 3:58 p.m. in Fond du Lac County between the village of Brandon and the city of Waupun. A team of investigators will travel to the region this morning to survey wind and tornado damage, including the stretch from Waupun to Lomira in northern Dodge County and up to Fond du Lac.
In the aftermath of the storm, many residents wondered whether they had been hit by a tornado.
“We have enough evidence to say that there were tornadoes that occurred yesterday, but the survey team will identify the exact path length and width of the tornadoes, as well as their strength,” the Weather Service said in a statement.
Other areas in Dodge County were hit with storms, but did not suffer much damage. In Mayville, the golf course will be closed until further notice due to flooding, with a goal to open by Monday.
Beaver Dam fire medics Charles Bau and Lee Smith are assisting with rescues in flooded areas in the western part of the state with the department’s rescue hovercraft, which is capable of traveling over land, water and ice.
At the state level, Gov. Scott Walker declare a state of emergency in Fond du Lac, Juneau, La Crosse, Monroe, Vernon and Washington counties on Tuesday. He declared one last week in Dane County following widespread flooding there.
His declarations directs state agencies to help with local responses and allows the Wisconsin National Guard to be called to action.