EF-3 tornado causes damage in Wheaton as storms rip western Wisconsin

EAU CLAIRE, Wis.  -- At least one tornado touched down as severe storms ripped through western Wisconsin, damaging homes and other structures near the Chippewa-Dunn county line. The National Weather Service surveyed damage Wednesday, Sept. 25.

The NWS said an EF-3 tornado hit near Elk Mound/Wheaton, Wisconsin. The storm involved estimated peak wind gusts of 150 miles per hour. NWS officials said the tornado's path was 1/3 of a mile wide, and 5.5 miles long. It hit at 7:48 p.m., and was gone by 7:58 p.m.

Governor Tony Evers declared a state of emergency for Chippewa County, Clark County, and Dunn County after viewing the damage to more than a dozen homes and structures on Wednesday.

“Last night’s tornado had a devastating impact on this area, leaving many homes badly damaged and a long road ahead to recovery for these communities,” Gov. Evers said in a news release. “My executive order allows state agencies and the Wisconsin National Guard to provide assistance to the communities affected by these storms as they work to rebuild.”

Chippewa County Sheriff Jim Kowalczyk told WEAU-TV that no one he knew of was unaccounted for after Tuesday night's storms, with only a few people having suffered minor injuries.

Below is viewer video that appeared to show a tornado moving toward I-94, northwest of Eau Claire.

Emergency managers asked potential volunteers to stay away from the Town of Wheaton, citing downed power lines and debris.

At least three semis overturned along Wisconsin Highway 29 northeast of Elk Mound.

Elk Mound schools opened their high school for anyone needing temporary shelter overnight.