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School, roads back open after unprecedented February tornadoes hit Wisconsin

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Posted at 10:24 AM, Feb 13, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-13 11:24:34-05

EVANSVILLE — For the first time, we are getting a look at the hardest hit areas of Evansville.

Roads were back open Monday, after they were cleaned up of debris and downed power lines.

At least 20 homes were damaged or destroyed from the unprecedented February tornado.

The EF-2 tornado touched down Thursday night. The National Weather Service confirmed a second tornado also touched down near Albany. That was an EF-1.

One couple says nearly 200 volunteers helped pick up debris across the street from their home. As of Monday, they're still without power from the tornado that was on the ground for 36 minutes, and traveled more than 20 miles.

"It was a horrible sound," they said, of the tornado. "It was like being in a tunnel and a bomb went off, like being in a freight train."

The wife says after seeing her 18-wheeler thrown on its side, tall trees twisted and sheds tilted, she's counting her blessings.

The sound of children playing brought back some sense of normalcy, as school was back in session.

"Friday morning, we had no Internet or heat or ventilation because power was out for probably 10 hours and then you have to reboot all that equipment," Evansville School District administrator Steve Lutzke said. He says at least one staff member's home was destroyed, calling the storm "just scary."

Still, many are amazed just one person was hurt in all of this. The community, counting their blessings that the tornado did not hit the busy downtown.

"It would have came right through Evansville and we'd be having a much different conversation."