Western Wisconsin News Roundup: More storms coming for western Wisconsin
The western half of Wisconsin has been hit with several waves of heavy thunderstorms since yesterday afternoon.
Winds hit 60-miles-an-hour at several locations from Lone Rock to River Falls. Trees and power lines fell in a number of places. Potosi in southwest Wisconsin got tennis-ball-sized hail early this morning. The Beloit area was hit hard around the middle of last evening. A tree fell through the roof of a house between Afton and Beloit, and fallen trees closed Highway 11 in Orfordville for a time. A flood hit parts of Ashland last night, and the four-lane Highway Two through the city was reduced to two lanes. Roads were closed in rural Ashland County. That county, plus Douglas and Bayfield, are under flood advisories until 9:15 this morning. The National Weather Service blamed the storms on a large low-pressure system in the Great Plains. There's a chance of more storms through Wednesday, as the system gets closer to the Upper Midwest. So far, the Weather Service has had no reports of significant storm damage in the eastern part of Wisconsin.
Bayfield County got the most rain by far, as a series of thunderstorms rumbled through Wisconsin over the past day. Clam Lake and Namekagon each had just over two-point-eight inches of rain in the 24 hours ending at seven this morning. It was just another notable weather development, in a region that was so dry last week that an eight-thousand-acre wildfire burned - and a freak snowstorm dropped up to 21-inches two weeks before that. Ashland County authorities said a number of roads were closed last night due to flooding. The National Weather Service issued a flood advisory for far northwest Wisconsin until 9:15 this morning. Far western Wisconsin also got heavy rains yesterday. Galesville in Trempealeau County had the most, with two-point-six-three inches. Parts of the western half of Wisconsin had heavy rains, trees-and-power-lines down, and winds of up to 60-miles-an-hour. There's a chance for more storms statewide at least through Wednesday.
Authorities are trying to figure out why a house exploded yesterday near Eau Claire. The family who lived there was away on vacation, and nobody was hurt. Their house was leveled, and five others received damage. The blast was reported just after noon yesterday in the Eau Claire County town of Washington. Media reports said the blast was so strong, it threw a mattress onto a roadway. A neighbor, Gary Streveler, said his house became uninhabitable as a result of the blast. He told reporters that his walls cracked and windows were blown out. Officials do not believe that foul play was involved in the blast. The Red Cross is helping those affected by the damage.
A lighthouse that has helped boaters enter Wisconsin at Superior is being offered for free - but you'd have to maintain it and use it for something positive. The "Superior Entry" lighthouse is still operating, but the U.S. Coast Guard says it no longer needs it. Now, the 100-year-old structure is being offered to eligible groups who would use it for some type of recreation, cultural-or-education agency, or historic preservation. A buyer would have to agree to several conditions - and the Coast Guard would have the option of running, replacing, or moving the structure's light and foghorn. The offer is part of a preservation effort started 13 years ago. The Coast Guard has converted 92 lighthouses to new uses. Milwaukee's North Point Lighthouse is now a public museum. The lighthouse at Superior is located on Wisconsin Point. It started being built in 1911, and the light was first turned on in 1913. The foghorn sounds twice as minute, as needed, for up to three seconds per blast.