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Storm follow up

by
Steve Hagman
Steve Hagman
Marathon County Emergency Ma... (Download MP3)

WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAU) - Wednesday night’s storms brought high winds, down trees, heavy rain, and caused some damage.

Marathon County Emergency Management Director Steven Hagman says there were no deaths or injuries locally, but there was some property damage.

When storms move in, Hagman says storm spotters move out. He says the storm spotters are mostly ham radio operators that have been trained to watch the clouds.  "They deploy out.  They're trained how to deploy, how to view the clouds, how to interpret what they're seeing.  If they see hail, they'll measure it.  They'll go to different locations in the county, record wind speed, what they're seeing, what types of clouds they're seeing and conveying that in real time through the skywarn system to assist Green Bay (National Weather Service) Weather at their prediction center."

It is unusual for lightning to strike homes, but Hagman says it has happened twice in Marathon County recently. One last night on Wausau’s East Union Avenue which was put out, but rekindled and destroyed the house. Hagman says the other was in Weston.  "We had one two weeks ago in Weston when lightning actually didn't hit the home and the home wasn't being lived in.  It was a vacant home, but the lightning hit a tree in the front yard, and the best that the fire department could determine is that electrical strike from the lightning went in to the ground and somehow got into the home."

There are things all of us can do to prepare for severe weather and other disaster events. Hagman recommends the state’s website.  "Readywisconsin.gov is where I recommend people to go.  There's some great resources there on how to prepare for different types of events, whether it's a tornado, ice storm, of winter weather.  They have forms to fill out, checklists, how much food you should have in the home, how much water."

At one point, Wisconsin Public Service had over seven thousand customers without power. Only a handful of customers remain without power now.

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