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The killer Wisconsin tornado was on the ground for 83 miles straight

That would be the longest tornado track on record in Wisconsin.

The deadly tornado that cut through western Wisconsin on May 16 was on the ground for 83 miles, damaging homes and flattening trailers with winds that reached 140 mph.

The National Weather Service Twin Cities said Tuesday evening the tornado was upgraded to an EF-3. The scale goes from the least severe of EF-0 to the most dangerous EF-5. It means this twister, which killed one person and injured a couple dozen in Barron County, was in the upper half of the scale.

It first touched down just east of Clear Lake, then carved its way eastward, to an area south of Kennan. Its 83-mile journey is the longest tornado path recorded in Wisconsin. Its journey took 1 hour and 24 minutes.

Here's a map tweeted by the National Weather Service:

The previous record tornado track length for the area was 80 miles, according to records. It happened three times. The most recent, in 1965, also hit Houston County, Minnesota.

So why has the NWS upgraded the strength of last week's tornado?

The weather service in a Facebook post explained there is some "newly discovered evidence near Conrath." Officials found a home that had been destroyed, inside walls included, with trees nearby also suffering serious damage. That, combined with more drone footage and surveying, prompted the EF-3 rating.

More info about the tornado is here.

The continuing clean-up

Officials in Barron County said damage estimates so far are from $10 million to $12 million, with nearby Rusk County at about $400,000, WBAY reported.

Barron County is also still asking for volunteer help with clean-up and other assistance. You can find details here. The video above shows drone footage of the damage.

Meanwhile a businessman from Rice Lake, Wisconsin, announced a $1 million challenge grant with the Red Cross, WQOW reported. Foster Friess said he will match donations, dollar-for-dollar, up to that $1 million mark. Read more about Friess' business and philanthropic efforts here.

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