LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) - Strong storms moving through southeastern Minnesota and western Wisconsin Saturday evening caused downed trees, power lines and some fires..
The La Crosse Fire Department responded to a home on Gould St. where its believed lightning struck a power pole and spread to a nearby house. Black smoke spread from the home. The people inside safely escaped, according to the fire department, but firefighters said they will be at the scene for a while.
There are several reports of power outages in the area caused by downed lines.
In La Crescent, a branch broke off of a tree, landing on two power lines. It caused an electric current to shoot through the branch and catch on fire. This happened on the 700 block of Shore Acres Road. La Crescent Police and Fire Department assisted at the scene and monitored the fire until Xcel Energy arrived. Roughly one dozen people had no power on that road.
Street flooding was also reported in La Crosse. Several large tree branches were found in the middle of the road. One large tree trunk ripped out of the ground, fell on a car near the corner of Gould and Rose Streets in La Crosse, and fell on top of a garage. Tri-State Ambulance was called to the home, but witnesses said nobody was injured.
A tree also fell on a car on Vine Street. One person was inside at the time. Tri-State Ambulance said that person is safe and no one is injured.
Heavy rain and gusty winds are a part of these storms. In Cochrane in Buffalo County, the National Weather Service reports that 2.75 inches fell between 7:30 p.m. and 8:45 p.m. A gust of 60 mph was recorded in Holmen earlier in the evening. Gusts of 56 mph were reported in La Crosse.
Other reports from the storm:
-A large two foot diameter tree fell onto a garage in West Salem due to strong winds -Two inch diameter tree branches were blown approximately 100 feet in Onalaska which knocked out a transformer. -Two trees were blown down along Mohican Trail Road southeast of Holmen. -A industrial warehouse near the corner of Airport Road and Lake Shore Drive suffered damage outside and inside the building, spreading debris across the parking lot into La Crosse Regional Airport airfield
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