Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
National | By Rosalie Gross

Storms pummel central U.S., as tornadoes kill at least 2

Storms pummel central U.S., as tornadoes kill at least 2

Part of a building sits on a vehicle after a tornado ripped through Prairie Lake Estates trailer home park, just north of Chetek, Wis., Tuesday, May 16, 2017.

As many as 70 homes in Elk City, a town of about 12,000 people around 110 miles (180 km) west of Oklahoma City, were damaged or destroyed by the storm, CBS affiliate KWTV reported, citing officials.

Barron (WQOW) - The worst of the damage is centered around the Prairie Lake Estates trailer park on County SS, located between Chetek and Cameron in Barron County.

Barton County spokeswoman Donna Zimmerman said the tornado that formed near Pawnee Rock remained on the ground for up to 15 miles (24 kilometers) before dissipating.

"It's a mess", Fitzgerald said. "We have at least one deceased so far and we're still in a search pattern".

Barron County Sheriff Christopher Fitzgerald on Wednesday praised the efforts of first responders.

The storm damaged telephone service in the whole city; nobody could make a call or receive any calls.

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Wisconsin Emergency Management reported that 40 mobile homes were destroyed along with a turkey barn in the same area. The twister demolished 40 homes and heavily damaged 50 to 75 more, according to the Elk City Fire Department.

Devin Feuerhelm told KMSP-TV that his sister, Lenna Samuelson, lives in the Wisconsin trailer park with her two daughters, Ashley and Brenna.

Amazingly, Nolan escaped with just a couple of scratches, he said. Samuelson's daughters suffered minor injuries, and the mother suffered a gash on her head, but he said all are expected to be fine.

While their home was flattened, the SUV next to it was untouched. The National Weather Service will be in the area to confirm the tornado touchdown and determine its strength. The circulation and high winds in a tornado can easily rip or even toss a mobile home, which frequently would not have a foundation.

Two people were killed Tuesday - one in Wisconsin and another in Oklahoma - following tornadoes and severe storms that ripped through several states.

Several tornado warnings were issued as severe thunderstorms moved east across western Wisconsin. A tornado watch is underway until Thursday, 10 PM CDT in areas of northern and central Texas, including Dallas/Fort Worth and San Angelo, as well as portions of northeast Kansas and northwest Missouri, including Kansas City, Missouri and Topeka, Kansas.

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

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