High winds kick off days of expected storms

Trees down, power lines damaged in heavy gusts Monday

Leader Staff

Contributed photo A pier on Shawano Lake was twisted by the wind in the thunderstorm that raced through the Shawano area on Monday night. Winds at the Shawano City-County Airport reached 48 miles per hour, according to the National Weather Service.

High winds took down trees and damaged power lines across Shawano and Menominee counties Monday, kicking off what was expected to be several days of stormy weather.

“We had multiple power outages and lot of trees down,” said Menominee County Emergency Management Director Shelley Williams.

She said she was not aware of any personal property damage, however.

“We had some strong wind come through at the beginning of it and it took down a lot of trees,” Williams said.

There were some road blockages, but the highway department, with the help of conservation workers and law enforcement, managed to clear those fairly quickly, she said.

Outages, some of which went into the night, were reported in Neopit, Middle Village, South Branch, Keshena and parts of Legend Lake, affecting well over 300 customers.

Williams said the winds were as high as 49 mph.

“Everybody is aware that we are going to potentially have storms come through,” Williams said.

She added that given the heavy forestation in the county, “it’s very unusual for us not to have trees come down when the storms come through. It’s very common. Our emergency folks have had lots and lots of practice.”

Another storm that blew through late afternoon Tuesday did not appear to cause the problems that Monday’s storm did.

The Shawano County Sheriff’s Department fielded numerous calls of trees down, straddled across roads and in some cases hitting power lines, as a result of the storm that blew the region Monday night.

The calls started coming in shortly after 7 p.m., initially from the western part of the county, but soon spread to townships closer to Shawano Lake and as far east as Green Valley.

A fallen tree took out a power line and blocked a portion of Main Street in the town of Fairbanks.

Trees also damage power lines in Wescott and Belle Plaine.

According to the National Weather Service, winds recorded at the Shawano airport reached a peak of 48 mph at 7:35 p.m.

The storm produced about 0.02 inches of rainfall.

More storms were in the forecast from Tuesday night through Wednesday.