1 killed in reported Wisconsin tornado; 25 hurt

Posted at 10:19 PM, May 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-17 00:05:53-04

Structures near Chetek, Wisconsin, were hit by what state officials said was a tornado.

One person was killed and 25 were injured Tuesday when a reported tornado hit a mobile home park in northwest Wisconsin, Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said.

The injuries ranged from minor scrapes to people who needed to be carried out on a stretcher.

“I know there were walls on top of people,” Fitzgerald told CNN affiliate WCCO and other media outlets. “I would describe it as total destruction. There’s a whole row where there should be trailers that there’s nothing but debris.”

At least one baby was injured, he said.

Fitzgerald said local and state officials are calling it a tornado, but that hasn’t been confirmed by the National Weather Service, he said.

Tod Pritchard, a state Emergency Management spokesman, said there also was a report of a tornado in Rusk County. Five homes were damaged, but there are no immediate reports of injuries.

There were reports of possible tornadoes in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas, the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center said.

The south side of Elk City, Oklahoma, was hit hardest by one storm, said Mayor Bill Helton.

“The damage is gut-wrenching,” he said.

Danny Ringer, spokesman for the city between Oklahoma City and Amarillo, Texas, said there were multiple injuries, but he didn’t give a specific number.

About 50 to 70 homes were damaged and several were destroyed, he said.

Images shot from a helicopter for CNN affiliate KFOR showed homes with their roofs ripped off.

A KFOR photojournalist on the ground recorded images of yards filled with debris as residents looked for items to pull out of the wreckage. One home collapsed and first responders rescued an occupant.