CHETEK, Wis. (KMSP) - The National Weather Service has confirmed the storm damage in the Chetek, Wisconsin area was caused by a tornado. The path and strength of the tornado are still being studied. The tornado destroyed at least 12 of the 60 homes at the Prairie Lake Estates mobile home park off Highway 53, and severely damaged many others.
The storm claimed one life, a man identified by the Barron County Sheriff as 45-year-old Eric Gavin. According to the sheriff, 17 people were transported to the hospital and 5 to 10 others had minor injuries. At this time, all residents of the mobile home park have been accounted for.
According to the weather service, “a strong area of rotation within a thunderstorm was detected on radar in
Southeast Polk County, Wisconsin around 4:40 p.m. Damage began being reported in northern Chetek, Wisconsin in Barron County at 5:30 p.m.. The thunderstorm continued move east-northeast through Rusk County with numerous reports of damage.”
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The Barron County Sheriff’s Office will continue its damage assessments on Wednesday, and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker will be in Chetek to tour the damage, including a visit to Prairie Lake Estates.