NWS Crews Survey Storm Damage in Wittenberg

By: WSAW Staff
By: WSAW Staff

Update 7/21/2010

The National Weather Service confirms that striaght line winds from 70 to 80 miles per hour caused the damage in Wittenberg Tuesday evening.

Crews were surveying the area to see if a tornado touched down. They say there is no evidence that a twister caused any of the damage.

Tornado or not, the storm caused significant damage and people didn't see it coming.

"It developed within minutes," said Steven Haskell of Emergency Management. "There was no other tornado or severe weather formations that were called in or identified by doppler radar."

The storms caused power outages, damages to homes and businesses and high winds tore part of the roof of the Wittenberg-Birnamwood High School. The gym floor and classrooms sustained water damage.

"A large portion of the roof peeled off. The wind blew over another secion. We're just trying to get a good assessment of damage," said Superintendent Garrett Rogodowski.

Despite their power, luckily, there were only a few minor injuries sustained during the storms.

Update 7/21/2010

Officials in the Wittenberg area are setting up a command center for those affected by yesterday's storms at Wittenberg Community Hall. The Red Cross and Salvation army are assisting those cleaning up.

Officials are warning residents not to burn storm debris, because of the risk of fires. They're asking you to bring them to free local waste sites set up near the ice rink and the feed mill in Wittenberg. They're also asking those who wish to volunteer to go to Village Hall for a permit.

Meanwhile, residents say tornado sirens in the area did not sound until it was too late. Officials say a couple of the towers were knocked over or damaged in the storm, adding to the problem.

The DOT says lanes are back open on Highway 45 in Wittenberg. Crews had closed them while they cleaned up heavy storm damage.

Trees and power lines are down around the village. The Wittenberg-Birnamwood High School received heavy damage. Pieces of the roof were blown around the property, trees were downed and a small building near the baseball field was overturned.

National Weather Service crews will head to the scene Wednesday to determine if the damage was caused by a tornado.

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