A tornado near New Richmond completely destroyed a garage and caused some other damage Wednesday night. (Photo via National Weather Service)
A tornado near New Richmond completely destroyed a garage and caused some other damage Wednesday night. (Photo via National Weather Service)

Twisters touched down across the state Wednesday night and early Thursday as a brutal storm pummeled almost all of Wisconsin.

Wednesday night’s severe storms produced six tornadoes across northwestern, north-central, and southeastern Wisconsin, the National Weather Service (NWS) confirmed Thursday evening. 

The tornadoes ranged in strength from EF0 to EF1, with winds from 80-105 mph, and caused damage to crops, homes, and barns, NWS meteorologists confirmed to UpNorthNews.

One tornado caused damage in Lincoln and Marathon counties at about 8:40 p.m. Wednesday, one tornado touched down southeast of New Richmond at about 10 p.m. Wednesday, and four tornadoes tore through rural Jefferson and Waukesha counties between 1-1:20 a.m. Thursday.

No major injuries were reported as a result of any of the tornadoes, meteorologists said. In the tornado near New Richmond, one woman fell down a flight of stairs but was determined to be okay after a medical examination, according to Paige Marten, a meteorologist with the NWS’ Twin Cities office, which also covers some of northwestern Wisconsin.

“Essentially, there were a lot of downed trees” in the New Richmond twister, Marten said. A garage and a barn were completely destroyed, but there wasn’t much other structure damage, she said.

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“It seemed like everyone took it pretty seriously,” said Chris Stumps, a meteorologist with the NWS’ Milwaukee/Sullivan office, in reference to the lack of major injuries.

Stumps said his office was sending a team out Friday morning to investigate damage from one more potential tornado in Verona, a Madison suburb.

(Graphic by Morgaine Ford-Workman)

While no one was seriously hurt as a direct result of the storms, one man died Thursday morning near Ripon, hours after the storms stopped, when he crashed his vehicle into a fallen tree and power line, according to multiple media reports.

Gov. Tony Evers on Thursday declared a state of emergency due to extensive damage seen all over the state. The order directs state agencies to help people impacted by the storms and allows the Wisconsin National Guard to be called to active duty as needed to help with recovery efforts, according to a press release from Evers’ office.

“Last night’s storms affected communities from the Mississippi River to Lake Michigan, leaving many regions with widespread damage,” Evers said in a statement. “Wisconsinites are resilient, and I know first responders, utilities, and many across our state are working to respond today. I’m declaring a State of Emergency this morning to ensure state resources are available as we work together to get communities the support and help they need.”