Strong Winds Tear Through Northeast Wisconsin


An overnight wind storm knocked out power to thousands of people in northeastern Wisconsin and caused an unknown amount of property damage.

Crews from Wisconsin Public Service worked today to restore power to 50,000 customers in Appleton, where winds of up to 80 miles per hour tore through the region last night. Captain Michael Jobe of the Outagamie County Sheriff’s Department says no injuries were reported, but that property damage is being assessed by staff of the county and state departments of emergency management.

“There are reports of barns completely flattened, some houses with roofs partially torn off, a lot of people lost siding – things like that,” says Jobe. “There’s considerable damage.”

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Tree branches and utility wires are down in much of the Fox Valley.

Also, a century-old building was toppled to the east of Appleton near the town of Maribel. The Maribel Caves Hotel was built in 1900 and survived several fires over the years, according to Amy Meyer, the head of the Manitowoc County Historical Society. Even though the three-story building was just a stone shell, she says it is an area landmark. Now she says one end of it has been “completely torn apart.”

“Then there’s a portion that is still standing, and what’s remarkable is there’s a part of the building that says, ‘Maribel Caves Hotel 1900’,” says Meyer. “And that part is still relatively untouched. It’s standing perfectly.”

The hotel is privately owned and its fate is unknown.

Wisconsin Emergency Management says one person was killed as a result of the storm. Two workers were struck by a vehicle while clearing debris from a road west of Marinette. One of the men has died.