Man killed in Wisconsin tornado identified

Posted at 1:07 PM, May 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-17 14:22:54-04

ELK CITY, Okla. (AP) -- The Latest on the deadly storms in the central U.S. (all times local):

   11:30 a.m.

Authorities have released the name of a man who was killed when a tornado tore through a mobile home park in northwestern Wisconsin.

Barron County sheriff's department officials say 46-year-old Eric Gavin was killed Tuesday evening by the tornado that destroyed the Prairie Lake Estates Mobile Home Park near Chetek.

It destroyed 50 to 60 trailer homes and injured 25 people, 17 of whom were taken to hospitals.

Storms barreled through a large swath of the central U.S. and tornadoes reportedly touched down in four other states, including Kansas, Nebraska, Texas and Oklahoma, where another man was killed trying to flee to safety.

The governors of Wisconsin and Oklahoma plan to survey the most damaged areas of their states later Wednesday.


   10:50 a.m.

   Gov. Scott Walker plans to tour the storm devastation in northwestern Wisconsin where a tornado leveled a mobile home park, killing one person and injuring at least two dozen others.

   Walker will survey what's left of the Prairie Lakes Estates Mobile Home Park near Chetek Wednesday afternoon. Officials say residents of the park will be allowed to enter the site to look for their belongings around noon.

   Barron County Sheriff Christopher Fitzgerald on Wednesday praised the efforts of first responders. He says that in some cases, the responders left their own storm-damaged homes to help search the mobile home park. Fitzgerald says they lifted walls off people who were trapped.

   Tornadoes reportedly touched down in five states on Tuesday night, including Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas, in addition to Wisconsin. A tornado destroyed homes in a western Oklahoma subdivision and killed a man who was trying to flee to safety.


   10:15 a.m.

   Gov. Mary Fallin plans to tour the damage to a western Oklahoma community that was struck by a tornado that killed a man.

   Fallin's office says the governor will arrive in Elk City about noon Wednesday to meet with emergency responders and tour the damaged area.

   National Weather Service meteorologists say preliminary indications show eight tornadoes touched down in western Oklahoma on Tuesday, killing 53-year-old Bo Mikles as he apparently was fleeing his home when his vehicle was thrown several hundred feet.

   Authorities say at least 40 homes were destroyed.

   The weather service says it received reports of more than two dozen tornado sightings Tuesday night across five states: Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska and Wisconsin. A tornado killed a man in Wisconsin.


   10:10 a.m.

   More severe weather is expected in parts of the Midwest a day after tornadoes killed two people and destroyed dozens of homes in Oklahoma and Wisconsin.

   National Weather Meteorologist Tom Hultquist says a low-pressure system moving from Nebraska Wednesday is expected to bring strong thunderstorms into southeastern Minnesota and western portions of central and southern Wisconsin.

   Hultquist says the storms have the potential to produce hail and tornadoes from late afternoon into the evening.

   In northern Wisconsin, state emergency management officials are concerned about flooding in Ashland, Trempealeau, Clark and Jackson counties.

   Meteorologists say preliminary indications show eight tornadoes swept through western Oklahoma Tuesday, leaving one person dead and destroying at least 40 homes. A tornado in northwestern Wisconsin destroyed a mobile home park, killing one man.

   This item has been corrected to reflect that the tornado killed a man in northwestern Wisconsin, not the northeast of the state.


   8:30 a.m.

   Authorities say at least one person was hurt when a tornado touched down in central Kansas.

   The National Weather Service says the storm started Tuesday night in the panhandle of Oklahoma and tracked into Kansas. One confirmed tornado was reported near a small town southeast of Dodge City, although there were no immediate reports of damage. The storm then headed toward the small central Kansas town of Pawnee Rock, where a home was destroyed. No details were immediately available about the person who was hurt there.

   National Weather Service Meteorologist Mike Umscheid says radar images suggest the storm may have produced other brief, rain-wrapped tornadoes as it moved over rural farmland.

   Assessment crews were headed out Wednesday to determine the extent of the damage.


   8:30 a.m.

   The Red Cross says dozens of people who lost their homes when a tornado leveled a trailer park in northwestern Wisconsin are staying with relatives or friends while others are using donated hotel rooms and a temporary shelter.

   Red Cross spokesman Luong Huynh (loon ha-when) says 30 to 50 people came through a reception center at Mosaic Telecom in Cameron after the destructive tornado hit nearby Tuesday. Authorities say a 46-year-old man was killed and a couple of dozen people were injured.

   The severe weather also caused extensive damage to several turkey barns across from the mobile home park. Mayor Jeff Martin in nearby Chetek (sheh-TEK') says turkeys can be seen wandering in the damage.


   7:30 a.m.

   Meteorologists say preliminary indications show eight tornadoes swept through western Oklahoma, leaving one person dead and destroying at least 40 homes.

   National Weather Service meteorologist Rick Smith says two supercells began in the Texas Panhandle on Tuesday then moved into Oklahoma.

   Smith said Wednesday that it appears the most damaging tornado was on the ground for five to 10 miles (eight to 16 kilometers) in the area of Elk City, Oklahoma.

   Danny Ringer, chaplain with the Elk City Fire Department, says that tornado killed 53-year-old Bo Mikles. Authorities say it appears he was fleeing his home when his vehicle was thrown several hundred feet.

   Ringer told KOCO-TV another 50 to 75 homes sustained heavy damage.

   Smith says another round of severe storms is forecast Thursday and Friday, with more tornadoes possible.

   He says hail larger than softballs fell Tuesday.


   6:40 a.m.

   Authorities say the victim who died when a tornado destroyed a mobile home park in northwestern Wisconsin was a 46-year-old man.

   At least 25 other people were injured when a storm Tuesday leveled the Prairie Lake Estate Mobile Park near Chetek, Wisconsin, about 110 miles (180 kilometers) northeast of Minneapolis.

   First responders searched through the rubble overnight. The Barron County Sheriff's Department says all other residents of the mobile home park are accounted for.

   The Red Cross and Salvation Army are assisting those who lost their homes.

   Another tornado flattened much of a subdivision on the southern fringe of Elk City, Oklahoma, about 110 miles (180 kilometers) west of Oklahoma City. Fire officials say at least one person died and that dozens of homes have been destroyed or severely damaged.


   1:56 a.m.

   Two people have died and dozens are injured after tornadoes flattened a mobile home park in Wisconsin and a housing subdivision in Oklahoma during powerful spring storms that battered an area from the South Plains of Texas to the Great Lakes.

   The storms hit late in the afternoon Tuesday and into the evening, leveling the Prairie Lake Estate Mobile Park near Chetek, Wisconsin. Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald told KMSP-TV that when first responders arrived at the scene, they could hear the people crying for help in the rubble.

   In Oklahoma, another tornado damaged much of a subdivision on the southern fringe of Elk City. Fire Chaplain Danny Ringer told reporters at the scene late Tuesday that one person was known dead from the twister, although details were lacking.

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