Major damage after tornado strikes western Wisconsin towns of Elk Mound, Wheaton

Daylight has revealed some of the catastrophic damage in Wheaton.
Publish date:
Wheaton tornado damage

Homes completely demolished in Wheaton. 

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. 

Next Up

jesse james crabtree of hibbing

Inmate found in swamp after escaping St. Louis County facility

The inmate was found hours after walking away from the facility on Sunday.

Screen Shot 2021-05-17 at 6.35.19 AM

Cities 97.1 reveals its new Morning Show host: Brian Oake

Oake departed The Current in mysterious circumstances in 2019.


Cloquet man suffers serious head injury after UTV lands on him

Police say the 56-year-old was not wearing a helmet or a seat belt.

Screen Shot 2021-05-16 at 10.13.52 AM

K-9 training at Willmar public housing complex on hold after ACLU complaint

The ACLU posted a photo on social media of a sign alerting residents at the Lakeview Apartments of K-9 training taking place in the building.

Cam Talbot / Minnesota Wild

Wild take Game 1 over Vegas in overtime thriller

It was an epic dual between Cam Talbot and Marc-Andre Fluery.

Taylor Rogers

Twins defense, bullpen squanders another rally

This is the story of the 2021 Twins.

Minneapolis police

3 Mpls officers injured on night of shootings, stabbings and fights

It was a tense weekend for the city of Minneapolis.

Fruen Mill in Minneapolis.

Teen in serious condition after fall at abandoned Minneapolis mill

Multiple urban explorers have been hurt at the Fruen Mill.

Screen Shot 2021-04-12 at 5.44.29 PM

Brooklyn Center City Council votes to create department for noncriminal calls

The resolution is named after Daunte Wright and Kobe Dimock-Heisler, who were both killed by police in Brooklyn Center.

Screen Shot 2021-05-16 at 7.54.26 AM

Train derails while passing by lake in Albert Lea

The Union Pacific train derailed Saturday afternoon.


Wisconsin tornado damage

Drone video of EF-3 tornado's damage path in Wheaton

The twister had winds in excess of 150 mph.

Dalton tornado damage

Extreme damage from deadly tornado in west-central Minnesota

One person was killed during the Wednesday tornado.

Severe storms possible in eastern MN, tornado chances in WI

Storms are expected to develop in eastern Minnesota and move into Wisconsin.

Screen Shot 2019-06-07 at 9.08.36 AM

Tornado touched down in Rochester, damage survey confirms

With winds up to 107 mph, it was a strong EF-1 tornado.

Screen Shot 2019-09-03 at 12.59.54 PM

NWS confirms tornado hit near Watertown, Minnetrista

The tornado touched down just east of Watertown.

Screen Shot 2018-09-21 at 6.49.28 AM

Labor Day storms leave behind damage reports across Minnesota

A tornado was confirmed on radar between St. Bonifacius and Maple Plain.

tornado damage

Damage survey reveals tornado hit near Howard Lake

The twister struck just before 10 p.m. Monday, Sept. 2.

tornado damage

New details on suspected tornadoes that ripped through Minnesota

Bone Lake in Minnesota and Bone Lake in Wisconsin were hit hard.