Evers tours damage from EF-1 tornado in Mauston area

MAUSTON, Wis. — Gov. Tony Evers on Thursday toured the damage left behind after an EF-1 tornado tore through parts of the Mauston area earlier this week.

Evers toured the Kountry Aire Estates mobile home park in Mauston, which saw some of the worst damage in the small Juneau County community.

The National Weather Service in La Crosse confirmed the tornado was one of three to touch down in the area Wednesday evening as strong thunderstorms moved across the state.

The tornado touched down at 4:43 p.m. and was on the ground intermittently for nine minutes, covering nearly 8.5 miles during that time. It packed winds of up to 90 miles per hour.

Evers said Wisconsinites are resilient and will bounce back from the storms.

“I’ve been talking to local people at the township level, city level, and emergency management, and we have a good system here,” he said. “People work together and they come together and try to solve problems as quickly as possible.”

NWS: 3 tornadoes confirmed in west-central Wisconsin, including Mauston

Mauston Mayor Dennis Nielsen said Wednesday night the city had exhausted all of its available resources in the cleanup effort and declared a disaster in the community.

The declaration could be one step toward unlocking state funding through the Wisconsin Emergency Management to help with disaster relief, but the WEM noted Thursday morning that they hadn’t yet received a formal request for assistance.

“What we’re working to do right now is to assess current conditions as they are on the ground and determine what resources may be needed from the state in order to help assist with those local responses,” Wisconsin Emergency Management Spokesperson Andrew Beckett told News 3 Now Wednesday night.

So far, the only request for state assistance has been for aerial surveying in western Wisconsin, Beckett said Thursday morning.

As cleanup continues, Nielsen said he’s grateful the things that can’t be replaced — human lives — were spared.

“I am just so thankful that nobody was hurt or killed, and that could have very well been the situation,” he said. “Material objects, I know it gets very hard for me to replace them when you’re on a fixed budget, but that’s the major thing, no one got hurt and everybody pulled together to help their neighbors.”

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