Tornado leaves trail of damage in Madison area

UPDATE:  The National Weather Service confirmed Sunday afternoon that a tornado touched down in the Madison area Saturday evening.

According to the National Weather Service’s preliminary damage assessment, an EF 0 tornado with winds of 70-80 mph was on the ground for five miles and approximately ten minutes.

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MADISON, Wis. -- A possible tornado leaves a trail of damage from Madison’s east side up to Sun Prairie Saturday night. Thankfully local police said there were no reports of injuries as of 9:00 p.m. Saturday. 

Witnesses said the potential funnel touched down on several locations along a ten-mile stretch. The worst damage a TODAY’S TMJ4 news crew saw was off East Washington in Madison where a metal roof blew off an auto/electric shop. 

The sound of chainsaws filled a Madison neighborhood just off East Washington mere hours after what appears to be a direct hit from the possible tornado. 
 
“I did see very excessive winds like nothing I’ve ever seen in my life,” said Deborah Higgins. 

Higgins said she was inside her living room when she heard the storm coming.  

“I heard like a scratching noise, so I suddenly got up,” 

Higgins took cover in her basement. A short time later, she came outside to dozens of downed trees and power lines in the area. A closer look showed fences flattened and cars covered in debris. 

Her next door neighbor was dealing with an even bigger issue. 

“It looks devastating,” said Jose Lazo. 

Lazo said his family was out when the storm rolled through. They came home to find their roof sinking in from a downed tree. They went upstairs to a hole in their bathroom ceiling. 

“The shingles are gone the gutters are broken, the fence is busted,” he said. 

Witnesses report seeing a small tornado briefly touching down in several spots from Madison to Sun Prairie where a street light pole came crashing down. 

Back in Madison, residents said they have a long day of clean up ahead, but they’re keeping things in perspective. 

“Well, I mean I’m comparing it to Texas, how they got hit so I would feel like this is minor compared to what they’re getting,” said Lazo.  

“I do know that I spoke to a lot of my neighbors and everyone was safe, praise god,” added Higgins. 

Madison Fire Department reports there were several hundred residents without power Saturday night. Crews were out working to bring energy back to those areas. 
 

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