UPDATE: Officials say 1 home destroyed in Grant Co. tornado - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

UPDATE: Officials say 1 home, several buildings destroyed in Grant Co. tornado

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Funnel cloud near Bloomington Funnel cloud near Bloomington
Funnel cloud near Bloomington Funnel cloud near Bloomington
Hail from Bloomington Hail from Bloomington
Hail from Bloomington Hail from Bloomington

GRANT COUNTY (WKOW) -- Cleanup efforts are underway in Grant County after a tornado damaged a home and nearby barns west of Bloomington.

We spoke with a neighbor who watched it happen.

"When it first started it was really small. I'm thinking it's no big deal," says Todd Fischer. "If you look at the video, you see red stuff flying around. That's everything from here."

Fischer took video on his cell phone as a confirmed EF2 tornado tore into his neighbor's property at about 7:40 p.m. on Tuesday night.

With winds up to 120 miles per hour, the tornado turned barns into woodpiles, ripped off the roof of the home and blew out all the windows except one.

"When I first came over the hill, it looked eerily like a scene from the movie, ‘Twister,'" says Julie Loeffelholz, deputy director with Grant County Emergency Management.

"It was a mess, but it could've been a hell of a lot worse," Ken Myers says.

He grew up in this home where his brother now lives with his wife and teenage daughter.

"But there was nobody on site. His oldest daughter was 10 minutes down the road when it hit."

After hours of cleanup, it's still a lot to take in. If you look closely under the mess, you can see some things are still intact—stuffed animals, childrens' books and a fishing pole lay buried in piles of debris.

"The neighbors here... This is God's gift to anybody who had a problem," Myers says.

Cars line the driveway as dozens help clean out the house and clean up the yard.

Myers says, with neighbors like these, his prayers are answered.

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GRANT COUNTY (WKOW) -- Officials are categorizing Tuesday's tornado in Grant County as an EF2.

The National Weather Service reports that as the storms moved into southwest Wisconsin, at least one tornado formed in northwest Grant County. Damage was in the Bagley, Bloomington and Patch Grove area. It touched down around 7:40 p.m. as part of a storm system that rolled across southern Wisconsin bringing rain, hail and strong winds.

The NWS says the tornado had winds between 115 and 120 miles per hour, and was on the ground for two minutes. Officials estimate that it traveled two-tenths of a mile and was 70 yards wide.

Grant County Emergency Management reports that one home and several out buildings were destroyed, west of Bloomington. Officials say the family was not hurt and are staying with relatives.

While further damage assessments are being conducted on Wednesday, the NWS says their preliminary rating for the short-lived tornado is an EF2.

Officials say no injuries were reported.

Agency officials say the storms caused numerous power outages across southern Wisconsin. Most power has been fully restored. Several communities reported one or two inches of rain with higher amounts in southwest Wisconsin.

27 News' Lysee Mitri headed down to Grant County Wednesday morning and will have full reports on the damage tonight on 27 News at 5 and 6.

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Grant County Emergency Management says one home was destroyed in a tornado Tuesday night.

Crews from the agency headed out to assess the damage Wednesday morning.

Emergency Management Director Steve Braun tells 27 News it was a "short-lived tornado," but it was strong. It destroyed one home near Hickory Road and Maine Road just west of Bloomington. The family was not home at the time.

The agency is still figuring out the path of the tornado.

Stay with www.wkow.com for more on this developing story.

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MADISON (WKOW) -- The National Weather Service confirms Wednesday morning that a tornado touched down in Grant County during Tuesday night's storm.

Around 7:40 p.m. Tuesday, law enforcement officials in Grant County reported a tornado on the ground near Patch Grove, about 10 miles northeast of Guttenberg.

The NWS will likely send out a team on Wednesday to survey the damage in order to classify the tornado. 

Stay with www.wkow.com for more on this developing story.

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MADISON (WKOW) -- 27 News has learned there are reports of downed trees and power lines in our viewing area. This includes Columbia, Walworth, Dane, Rock, Green, Grant, Iowa and Richland Counties.

Downed trees were also reported by Stevenson, Illinois authorities.

There is also reports of power outages, to see Alliant Energy's website, click here. You can also click here to view the MG&E website.

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Severe storms rolled through southern Wisconsin Tuesday night.

Around 7:40 p.m., law enforcement officials in Grant County reported a tornado on the ground near Patch Grove, about 10 miles northeast of Guttenberg.

Lightning hit a few transformers and the wind knocked tree limbs into the countless power lines. There have also been numerous traffic crashes around the area, many from fallen branches in the road.

As of 10 p.m. Tuesday night, Alliant Energy reported more than 11,000 customers without electricity across southern Wisconsin. In Madison, Madison Gas & Electric said more than 2,500 customers didn't have power.

 

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