Yesterday’s severe weather left over 17,000 people in the city of Madison without power, and saw over 300 trees blown down, many blocking roads and sidewalks.
One of the largest instances of damage yesterday happened on the city’s east side, when an apartment building near the Dane County Airport had part of its roof blown off during the storm. City officials say that the roof had been redone a few years prior, and had been inspected by the city at the time.
The American Red Cross established a shelter for those currently displaced by yesterday’s storm, though it was unused last night, as all those displaced had somewhere to stay for the night. The Red Cross kept the shelter open today as a cooling station, and will keep the shelter overnight tonight as well. That shelter sits on the Madison College campus at 1701 Wright Street.
Speaking of lost power, over 17,500 people in the Madison area lost power yesterday. MG&E says that restoring power is difficult, due to the large number of down power lines, and new outages that are occurring as weakened trees fall onto power lines.
At the time of recording, around 5,400 people were still without power, according to the MG&E. They say that they anticipate most of those without power to regain power this evening.
The storm did not just take down power lines, as around 300 were reported to have fallen in the city of Madison yesterday. Bryan Johnson with the city streets division says that there were 9 calls for trees or large branches that fell on cars yesterday, and 14 trees or large branches on homes. Additionally, there were 89 streets blocked by trees.
Johnson says that he can’t remember the last storm to hit Madison this hard.
“There were issues on both the east side of Madison and on the west side, it wasn’t just one little neighbor. It’s been a while since we’ve seen bigger tree damage like this. It’s going to be hard for residents, too, because it’s been a while, it’s going to be hard to adjust our expectations to what cleanup look likes from this,” Johnson says.
Johnson says that cleanup will focus on high priority areas first, such as trees on houses, and that people should either place brush on the curb, or bring it to a drop off site. The hours for drop off sites will not change, so check the hours for the site before you leave.
The storm did not just Madison, as South Milwaukee saw flooding and golf ball sized hail barraging the neighborhood. We Energies reported that nearly 43,000 people were without power in southeast Wisconsin last night.
As the storms move past Wisconsin and continue to travel east, a massive heat wave is following right behind it.
As for yesterday’s storm, the city says that clean up will not be easy, and that a complete clean up from the storm is expected to take several days.
Photo courtesy: Nate Wegehaupt / WORT News Team