A gorgeous Tuesday in Minnesota and Wisconsin quickly turned ominous as severe thunderstorms exploded around the dinner hour, with rotating storms producing tornadoes that are suspected of causing significant damage in a pair of western Wisconsin towns.
Elk Mound and Wheaton, located just west/northwest of Eau Claire, were hit hard by the after-dark storms. Video taken by residents in those areas shows the silhouettes of the tornado as it was illuminated by frequent lightning.
A confirmed tornado struck the Elk Mound area just before 8 p.m., according to the National Weather Service. Wheaton, located just northeast of Elk Mound, was the next to be hit hard. It's unclear if it was the same tornado to hit both towns.
Daylight has since revealed the destruction, with Joshua Gawrysiak posting video to Facebook that shows a row of houses completely flattened along a highway in Wheaton.
The Chippewa County Sheriff's Office has asked volunteers to stay out of the Wheaton area.
“Emergency crews are working to keep the public safe. Power lines may be down & debris can cause injuries that are better avoided in day,” the sheriff's office said.
A Facebook page dedicated to reporting police scanner reports out of Chippewa County has reported that semis and other vehicles were flipped on Hwy. 29, along with possible gas leaks, trailer homes damaged and even rescue crews trying to locate people calling for help.
Fortunately, there haven't been any reports of serious injuries or death.
This is a developing story.