Cleanup continues after EF-1 tornado, straight-line winds blow through Stoughton area

STOUGHTON, Wis. — Cleanup efforts continue in the Stoughton area after an EF-1 tornado and straight-line winds caused significant damage earlier this month. 

Brian Piper and his wife were having a regular night at home when the lights went out and their house in the city started to shake.

“There were no sirens,” Piper said. “We didn’t have a chance to go down to the basement.”

On March 5, up to 88-mile-per-hour winds swept through residential neighborhoods, wiping out trees, breaking windows, and shutting off the power for many. The storm’s impact left significant damage to many homes in the area.

“(A) tree went right over the neighbor’s garage, and that was huge, that was a big project, but we got lucky, we were fortunate,” Piper said. 

RELATED: Stoughton tornado formed, faded too quickly for sirens to be activated, officials say

Almost every home on every block experienced some damage from the storm.

On Monday, community members and crews from the Stoughton Department of Public Works worked to clean up the mess.

“We had extensive tree damage as well as homes that were damaged, and we had tree debris everywhere you can imagine,” said Brett Hebert, the director of the city’s public works department.

RELATED: Stoughton declares state of emergency after tornado, strong winds 

Despite the challenges, many were happy that they made it through safely and with the support of cleanup crews.

“Our main focuses on opening up those streets so our emergency responders still utilities can get there to restore the electric. So there was those power lines down everywhere,” said Hebert.

People in the area will be able to drop any additional yard waste at the Stoughton Yard Waste Site starting April 2.