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Tornado spotted west of Wausau

Tornado spotted west of Wausau

May 22, 2024 11:01 AM CDT
By: Meteorologist Brittney Merlot

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WAUSAU, Wis. (WXCO) – Sirens blared across Marathon County Tuesday evening as a line of severe thunderstorms spawned a twister.

A strong low pressure system slid up the west border of Wisconsin on Tuesday afternoon and evening. Surging heavy rain into the state in the morning hours, with nearly 3/4″ of rain. Temperatures were mild and the air was humid as a break in the rain took over late afternoon.

Then, the cold front smacked into the muggy air mass, sparking up severe thunderstorms along a line stretching across the state. Packing a punch with straight-line winds gusting up to 60 mph in Wausau.

Those vicious winds paired with soggy soil, knocked down many trees across the area. A 25-foot tree was reported uprooted in northern Wausau, while tons of trees and power poles were knocked down in Merrill. The Town of Stratford and Vilas say plenty of trees came tumbling down there as well.

Thousands of people are still without power, 40,000 in the state, over 3,400 customers in Marathon County and more than 1,700 in Clark County, 1,500 in Oneida and over 1,000 in Lincoln County.   

We Energies posted on Facebook they’ve “restored power to more than 31,000 customers and have hundreds of people working non-stop to get the lights back on for everyone.”

Clean-up has begun in the Town of Unity. After tornado warnings and sirens blared throughout Marathon County around 8:00 pm. A twister was seen touching down and tearing through a town just west of Wausau. Doing extensive damage to homes, flipping trailers and ripping trees apart.

Rain reports of over 2.00″ in total spread across Central Wisconsin. Localized minor flooding is seen in some streets and yards, with rivers still rising.

The Wisconsin River is nearing flood stage and in an action stage. Minor flooding may occur through Friday.

The weather calms down and dries out for a few days, until the next rain event on Friday.

Another 1/2″ to 1″ of rain is likely then. With a mainly dry Memorial Day Weekend ahead. In case you were wondering, any drought in the state will likely be washed away on Thursday, when the next report is released.

WAUK - Waukesha - The 'SHA