'One to be taken seriously': Southeastern WI braces for severe weather, potential damage

NOW: ’One to be taken seriously’: Southeastern WI braces for severe weather, potential damage

WISCONSIN (CBS 58) -- Bad weather is on its way.

Our entire viewing area has been getting ready for it after the National Weather Service upgraded the region to a four out of five for severe weather.

We Energies and emergency crews throughout the area spent the day preparing for what could be widespread damage. So did random people we stopped.

What's heading southeast, originating in Minnesota, is a wind storm, expected to produce severe damage across Wisconsin.

“This is one to be taken seriously,” said Mike Povar, longtime sailor.

At the Racine Yacht Club, it's the calm before the storm, sailors getting in one last trip before sunset.

"On Lake Michigan, you don't want to be out there with a 30 or 40-foot lightning rod sitting on top of you,” said Povar.

"The boats are tied up pretty well, but if you're talking 75 mile an hour winds, anything can get damaged, anything can break loose. So, let's just hope for the best,” said sailor Dean Steiger.

We Energies has staff on call and will work 24/7 should any power outages result.

“We are making sure that we have all of our poles, all of our wires, anything that we need to fix, anything that is broken when these winds and storms come through,” said Amy Jahns, We Energies spokesperson.

Wind gusts in these situations tend to be one-directional, forcing trees to the ground like dominoes.

"It can be a very dangerous situation so we need to know about it as soon as we can. It’s a hazard and we want to keep people safe,” said Jahns.

Staying safe early in the day meant staying cool. For others, it was a trip to the ice cream shop. But they were also getting ready for Wednesday night's weather.

“So I'm getting ready to go home and put everything away. I got a bunch of umbrellas -- umbrellas and stuff, put the car in the garage, get it ready so it don't get hailed on,” said Art Felix.

"Put everything away that might blow away, tipped everything over that might blow away and hope that we're ready for it,” said Bill Linnenkehl.

Emergency management crews recommend having an emergency kit with flashlights, a charged cellphone and water. They say don't rely on outdoor sirens. Get a severe weather app.

“And if you look at conditions today, it's extremely hot, people are gonna have their windows shut, their air conditioning on and they're in a deep sleep. That outdoor warning siren goes off and if the wind is pushing it in the opposite direction from your house, you may not hear that,” said David Maack, Racine County Emergency Management Coordinator.

Maack also advises that if there's a weather watch or warning, at least one person in the home stay awake until the alert is over.

For the latest updates to keep you and your family safe, be sure to download the CBS 58 Ready Weather app. You can find it in the App Store and on Google Play.

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