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WATCH NOW: No injuries after severe storm rips through Baraboo, officials say
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WATCH NOW: No injuries after severe storm rips through Baraboo, officials say

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Severe storm hits Baraboo

A few homes in Baraboo suffered damage from falling trees during Wednesday's storm.

A severe thunderstorm hit the city around 5:30 p.m. July 14 in Baraboo, knocking over large trees, taking out powerlines and disrupting the Sauk County Fair.

Emergency workers said Thursday that the severe storm which swept through part of the city around 5:30 p.m. Wednesday did not result in any injuries to residents.

EMS Chief Caleb Johnson said EMTs and paramedics went out with members of the Baraboo Fire Department, but did not have to treat any storm-related injuries. He said that was especially good given that trees had fallen on homes.

“I think, especially with that tree that went through that house, it could have been a lot worse,” Johnson said. “Thankfully it wasn’t. I don’t think anyone was really expecting the winds that came along with the rain.”

Fire Chief Kevin Stieve said there were a few homes that suffered damage from falling trees. One was 608 Second St. The upper floor and roof were largely damaged when a tree fell across an exterior gazebo, crushing a portion of it and smashing into the backside of the top floor.

Owner Tyler Patten said his wife and child were on the ground floor of the home at the time and rushed to the basement after feeling the entire house shake.

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Most of the damage was relegated to the eastern portion of the city, though both Baraboo and West Baraboo experienced torrential rain and some hail with strong winds.

“It’s pretty extraordinary how it just affects one part of town,” Stieve said. “It’s always interesting to see how Mother Nature acts when she’s angry.”

The carnival that had been set up for the Sauk County Fair had only gotten underway an hour before the storm rolled in. Carnival Manager Tom Thebault announced they shut the rides down and refunded wristbands out of safety. Johnson said he felt “it was a great thing the fair decided to close down for the night.”

Despite reports to authorities that residents were trying to use chainsaws to cut up trees near fallen power lines, no storm-related injuries were treated by first responders. Stieve said firefighters responded to calls of damaged houses to make sure the structure was stable and there wasn’t a threat to public safety, either through damaged gas lines or similar issues.

“That’s our main concern, see if there’s anybody injured and then any property preservation stuff, such as getting gas shut off or electric shut off,” Stieve said.

Overall, Johnson said EMTs were responding to calls related to the severe storm until roughly 8 p.m. Stieve said firefighters were out for roughly six hours.

Power was out for some residents in the area until Thursday. Baraboo Public Library posted to social media that it was open and residents could come and charge phones and other equipment.

Follow Bridget on Twitter @cookebridget or contact her at 608-745-3513.


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