Walker Continues Surveying Tornado Damage In Southern Wisconsin

Governor Visits Fennimore Before Going To Spring Green

Gov. Scott Walker discusses storm damage with farm owner Paul Welp. Photo: Shamane Mills/WPR News.

Tuesday marked another day of touring tornado damage in southern Wisconsin for Gov. Scott Walker.

Last week he was in Platteville. On Monday, he was in La Crosse. On Tuesday, he was in Fennimore before going to a farm in Iowa County near Spring Green.

Iowa County Emergency Management officials say the EF-2 tornado that originated in Fennimore “hopped, skipped and jumped” around the county Sunday night. Two days later, Walker followed the storm’s path to survey damage and show support for those affected.

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One of the places he stopped was the Paul Welp farm in the town of Dodgeville.

“It’s devastating to them,” said Walker. “Because farming is more than a business. It’s a way of life for farmers here and across the state. To see something like this, where they’ve poured their life into … it’s really heart-wrenching.“

The tornado damage comes on the heels of a tough winter for the family. Paul Welp was injured after he fell in a silo, and had only just got back on his feet. In March, his wife fell on ice and hurt her leg.

Iowa County Administrator Curt Kephart says Sunday’s storm added to their woes.

“This is the third thing within a few months that’s happened to this family,” said Kephart. “You see all neighbors – that means the community is coming together because they care about each other.”

He said some crops were damaged and farmers are waiting to see if they’ll recover.

“Our crops have taken a huge beating and the crops are falling over because of the wind,” said Kephart. “Just getting debris out of the field so they don’t ruin the equipment as they come through the field will be a huge. It’s going to take months to get the community back.”

Iowa County Emergency Coordinator Keith Hurlbert said a couple of homes were destroyed and another half-dozen were badly damaged. Farm buildings generally took the brunt of the storm; he says about 50 were affected.