August 19, 2005

Tornadoes kill one, injure dozens in Wisconsin

MADISON, Wisconsin (Reuters) - A rash of tornadoes that
swept through southern Wisconsin killed one person and injured
at least 30 others, with more than 200 homes destroyed or
damaged, trees uprooted and power lines down, authorities said
on Friday.

"It looks like a bomb went off," said Dane County Executive
Kathleen Falk of the county that includes Madison and the
hard-hit city of Stoughton.

One man in Stoughton died on Thursday when his chimney
collapsed as he was seeking cover in his basement, said
Wisconsin Emergency Management spokeswoman Lori Getter.

Hundreds of residents of Stoughton, a town of 12,000
southeast of Madison, were told to evacuate immediately after
the tornado hit because of the danger from gas leaks and downed
power line. They were trickling back to inspect the damage and
recover belongings early on Friday.

"There's a lot of sad people, but we're going to pull
together," said Stoughton Mayor Helen Johnson.

A tornado that tore through the town of Viola also caused
injuries, one of about 25 twisters that touched down in a
swathe of southern Wisconsin Thursday evening, Getter said.