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Wisconsin's Experiences With Tornadoes

Susan Bence

Wisconsin is moving toward the time of year that produces themost tornadoes here.June has been the most common month for tornadoes to occur in Wisconsin. The average number to hit each year is 21.

The state's deadliest tornado on record devastated New Richmond on June 12, 1899. The twister killed 117 people, injured 125 and decimated the town. The greatest losses of life from tornadoes in Wisconsin were recorded in the state's early days, when warning sirens and public weather forecasts were nonexistent.

Among the most powerful twisters on the books here - rated F5, took place June 6-7, 1984 in Barneveld. The tornado killed nine people, injured 200 and leveled most of the town. Damage was estimated at $40 million. Another F5 storm struck Oakfield in July, 1996, injuring 12 and destroying $40.4 million in property, but taking no lives.