Strong thunderstorms and at least four tornadoes overnight Wednesday caused widespread damage, left tens of thousands without power and contributed to at least one death.
Quinn R. Boehning, 29, was killed after crashing into a fallen tree and power line on Highway N near the town of Ripon, at about 6 a.m. Thursday, according to the Wisconsin State Patrol.
The severe weather began Wednesday evening in northwestern Wisconsin, pushing south and east, with the last tornado warning expiring around 2 a.m. The National Weather Service in Milwaukee confirmed at least four tornadoes touched down in Jefferson and Waukesha counties early Thursday.
The first touchdown was outside Watertown just after 1 a.m., the Weather Service said, estimating winds at close to 85 mph. The second touched down at 1:15 a.m. just outside the town of Concord in Jefferson County, where wind speeds were estimated at close to 100 mph. Concord sustained the most destruction from the overnight storms, meteorologist Andy Boxell said, with significant damage to trees, roofs and barns.
Two families were displaced, but there were no reports of injuries, Donna Haugom, emergency management director for Jefferson County said.
The third confirmed tornado was just south of Sunset Park in Waukesha, occurring at about 1:30 a.m. with wind speeds close to 85 mph. The fourth occurred south of Dousman, with peak wind speeds of 100 mph.