Published: Sat, May 20, 2017
Money | By Armando Alvarado

2 killed, 25 hurt in Wisconsin and Oklahoma tornadoes

2 killed, 25 hurt in Wisconsin and Oklahoma tornadoes

Sheriff Department officials said Wednesday 46-year-old Eric Gavin was killed by the tornado that destroyed the mobile home park.

The man killed in the Tuesday, May 16, storm was identified during a press conference at the Prairie Lake Estates trailer park on Wednesday, May 17.

Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald told News 18 Tuesday night that at one point, every officer with the Barron County Sheriff's Department was in the area, helping and looking for people who may be injured. Officials are allowing some residents back into the area at around noon today. While their home was flattened, the SUV next to it was untouched. He estimated the park had around 50 homes.

Oklahoma's News9 reported the tornado could have been an EF-2 or EF-3, and said early estimates tracked the tornado's path as about a quarter of a mile wide.

"We're pretty certain it's a tornado", said Bill Borghoff, lead meteorologist with the National Weather Service. The sheriff also said that more volunteers are needed at the Volunteer Reception Center, despite two bus-loads of people already showing up. He said at least one child was among the injured.

At least two dozen of the 50 or so trailers were destroyed.

The Red Cross and Salvation Army are assisting those who lost their homes.

The National Weather Service (NWS) said the storm started late Tuesday afternoon in Wisconsin into the evening, then tracked into the panhandle of Oklahoma and before heading to Kansas.

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The storm knocked out telephone service into and out of the city.

Mark Tyson said he and his wife Robin were huddled behind a living room chair as the storm hit Tuesday evening when an entire wall of their mobile home suddenly came flying at them.

A tornado also hit Elk City, Oklahoma, damaging numerous homes and structures, according to the NWS.

"We have a lot of teams out in the field right now, trying to assess the damage, trying to get folks as much help as they need and try to recover personal items, from the damage as quickly as possible", said Pritchard. Sheriff Fitzgerald said the severe damage is between Chetek and Cameron on Highway SS.

Storm damage was reported farther west, in Arland Township, as well as east, into Rusk County, where at least seven homes were destroyed in the Bruce area.

Fifty-three-year-old Bo Mikles was killed as he was apparently fleeing his home when his vehicle was thrown several hundred feet.

Storms and tornadoes have caused widespread damage in the American Midwest from the Plains of Texas in the south to the Great Lakes in the north. Pictured is an image of the Tornado damage in Oklahoma.

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