The powerful tornado that carved up parts of western Wisconsin Tuesday night has been rated an EF-3 with maximum wind speeds of 150 mph.
The weather service defines the power of an EF-3 tornado as follows: "Severe damage. Roofs completely torn off well-constructed buildings, along with some walls, majority of trees uprooted, trains overturned, vehicles lifted off the ground."
Damage just east of Elk Mound to Wheaton is definitely that, as video from impacted areas shows homes and businesses completely destroyed, rows of trees smashed into the ground like a steamroller came through, some trees stripped of bark, and there were numerous reports of overturned vehicles on Hwy. 29 near Wheaton.
Drone footage of the damage path was provided to BMTN by Ryan Zwiefelhofer, whose video on Facebook has more than 140,000 views.
The destruction can also be seen in aerial photos tweeted out by Ready Wisconsin.
Fortunately, nobody was killed and only two injuries were reported.
Fifteen residences were heavily damaged and 13 other homes had major damage or were completely destroyed, according to Chippewa County Emergency Management.
The twister touched down just east of Elk Mound and lifted approximately 5.5 miles later. At it's largest, it was about 1/3 of a mile wide.
There are only two tornado ratings stronger than EF-3. An EF-4 tornado can produce "devastating" damage with wind speeds of 166-200 mph, and an EF-5 twister is known for wiping out entire communities with 200+ mph winds.
The NWS Twin Cities also confirmed that an EF-0 tornado hit Lake City, Minnesota. It caused significant tree damage and blew the roof off a building in downtown Lake City that wound up heavily damaging a bank.