"It's real bad:" Reports of heavy damage including hundreds of trees down in Dodge County

“It’s real bad: “ Reports of heavy damage including hundreds of trees down in Dodge County


BROWNSVILLE, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Hundreds of trees are down in the small village of Brownsville.

Between there and Lomira, it's the worst hit spot in Dodge County.

To demonstrate how powerful the wind was in the area Tuesday afternoon look no further than the long piece of metal roofing wrapped around a wooden pole across from the local BP station.

People who live in the area say it probably came from a specific barn about a half mile North of there.

Vehicles came to a stop on the interstate around 3:45 p.m. as a possible tornado crossed I-41 near Lomira.

Once past, the damage was everywhere. A boat was blown into a garden, a barn was knocked over, and trees were down all over the place - some burned and shattered by lightning - but most blown over with their roots pulled from the ground.

"It's real bad. All those beautiful trees. the branches are all broken," Gail Williams said. She had a few dozen large trees fall to winds on her property.

"I didn't see many of them fall. Because it was raining so hard it was like whiteout," Williams said.

Beyond the 'Welcome to Brownsville' sign the damage worsened. Men worked on roofs while the corn 'laid down' in the field - pushed that way during severe weather.

It also pushed a semi off of Highway 49. Emergency crews responded and there still has been no word on if anyone was injured.

Some people - like David Depew - say they actually watched the tornado come through.

"It came through here with a funnel and ripped off the whole corner of the bull barn that I have here," Depew said.

And across the street, Gwen Christianson - a person who's lived here for 30 years - is still trying to calm down after a 50-some foot tall tree fell on her home.

"It was a really tall tree. But I never expected to see this much damage," Christianson said.

"I've never seen anything like it before," Christianson said.

As of Tuesday night power crews had been criss-crossing the streets - but there were also some major, large powerlines blown down in farm fields that could take much longer to repair.

Note: During our report, we mentioned that some trees appeared to be "burned and shattered by lightning". An arborist tells CBS 58 the split is actually caused by bark being pinched between two equally-sized stems. It is a common structural flaw of shade trees. When strong winds hit these trees, the weak union can split down the trunk, revealing darkened wood from a pre-existing crack, and darkened bark that was pinched between the two stems. It is commonly mistaken for lightning, however, due to the visible split, the dark stain, and lightning in the area.

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