One person was killed when a tornado swept into a mobile home park in Wisconsin Tuesday and another person died when a twister hit a housing subdivision in Oklahoma, as a massive severe storm system battered an area stretching from the South Plains of Texas to the Great Lakes.
The storms leveled the Prairie Lake Estate Mobile Park, about 110 miles northeast of Minneapolis, Wisconsin.
Residents of the park were to be allowed to enter the site to look for their belongings around noon Wednesday, officials said early Wednesday. "While there is tragedy, what we have going on here is a miracle", said Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald. While their home was flattened, the SUV next to it was untouched.
Another resident of the trailer park, Robert Black, was standing outside his home watching the storm kick up when golf ball size hail drove him inside.
Beckham County Emergency Management Director Lonnie Risenhoover (RYE'-zuhn-hoo-vur) said "a lot of tornado damage" has been reported to the subdivision and surrounding rural area.
Severe weather is forecast to continue for parts of the Upper Midwest Wednesday, with tornadoes, hail and damaging winds possible, forecasters say.
"We still have some people unaccounted for and we're trying to determine where they are, if they are somewhere else and OK, or missing", Fitzgerald said. He said at least one child was among the injured.
Numerous other homes, shed and farm buildings were destroyed in the area of Prairie Lake township.
The Red Cross and Salvation Army are assisting people who lost their homes in the storm. The National Weather Service confirmed the EF3 tornado was actually on the ground for 27 miles with maximum winds of about 165 mph. Emergency officials are reporting seven homes destroyed, according to the state's emergency management agency.
The Sheriff said the Wisconsin DNR was out assessing the extent of the damage.
Governor Scott Walker has declared a state of emergency in three northwest Wisconsin counties damaged by a strong tornado on Tuesday, which killed on person and left dozens more homeless.
The Elk City Fire Department says Mikles, 53, died near Highway 34 and Highway 152.
The weather service says the twister packed winds of 120 to 130 miles per hour, or even slightly stronger, when it hit the trailer park near Chetek on Tuesday evening.
A powerful storm and tornado that struck Barron County Tuesday evening has claimed at least one life as well as leveling about 40 mobile homes at a mobile home park near Chetek. Borghoff said it was a "long-track tornado", but an EF damage rating had not yet been determined.