Heavy rains blow into Wis. just hours after storm drenches parts of state, knocks out power

  • Article by: TODD RICHMOND , Associated Press
  • Updated: June 21, 2013 - 9:55 PM

MADISON, Wis. — Another wave of storms packing heavy rain blew into western Wisconsin Friday night after pounding the Twin Cities.

A trained spotter measured 1.48 inches of rain in a 40-minute period in Hudson in St. Croix County, the National Weather Service said.

Six inches of water was reported over the road on Highway 63 and Highway 12 north of Baldwin.

The latest batch of severe weather hit just hours after Wisconsin residents watched a line of intense thunderstorms race through the state.

Forecasters predicted more storms would move across the Dakotas and Minnesota into Wisconsin late Friday into Saturday morning, packing winds up to 60 mph, heavy rain and hail.

"This is real typical," said Gene Brusky, science and operations officer at the National Weather Service's Green Bay office. "This is a classic summertime pattern."

The first round of storms plowed across Wisconsin early Friday morning, dumping inches of rain and leaving thousands of people without power. The National Weather Service reports Viroqua got 3.75 inches, La Crosse got 1.52 inches and Milwaukee got .75 inches. Racine got .88 inches and Wautoma got 1.96 inches. New Richmond and Boscobel saw winds gusts just under 60 mph. Pea-sized hail fell in Green County.

The Kickapoo and Black rivers were rising Friday afternoon and could flood low-lying areas but likely wouldn't threaten any homes, NWS La Crosse meteorologist Jeff Boyne said.

Xcel Energy spokesman Brian Elwood said 20,000 people lost power across west-central Wisconsin. The utility hoped to have power restored by Saturday morning, although the next group of storms could cause delays, Elwood said.

About 700 people in Janesville lost their electricity after a lightning bolt struck a power pole, said Alliant Energy spokeswoman Annemarie Newman. Crews had restored their power by midday, she said.

Wisconsin emergency officials said they've received no reports of injuries or structural damage beyond shingles blowing off roofs. A military bus went off the road on Interstate 90-94 near Portage during the storm, causing traffic backups, but Wisconsin Emergency Management spokesman Tod Pritchard said he wasn't sure if the accident was weather-related.

The agency had received no requests for assistance from local officials as of Friday afternoon and didn't plan to activate its emergency operations center.

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