Storm Impact in Fond du Lac County

The governor declared a state of emergency in Fond du Lac County after storms slammed the area on Tuesday. Confirmed tornadoes and tornado warnings – along with heavy rain – spread across Fond du Lac County on Tuesday. There was a confirmed touch down in Campbellsport, but there were also issues out towards Waupun. We hit the streets just after the storm cleared, beginning in Oakfield, where there were reports of serious property damage. Several barns around the village were damaged, but firefighters told us most of their concerns involved fallen power lines. 

They then pointed to reports of serious issues in the Town of Alto, north of Waupun. But when we got to County Road E, firefighters like Joe VandeZandee were blocking the road into town. He told us “right now, Alto is not enterable – there are power lines and trees at every entrance coming into town. So nobody’s being let in, nobody’s being let out until everything is safe.”

There are also plans to convert the community center into a shelter once the power is back on. 

While driving through a darkened Waupun, we also noticed people were still stopping into the ACE Hardware store. Anita Martins, who helps run the store, told us “we’re keeping the store open with just flashlights to help whoever comes in.”

She says they quickly ran out of generators but ordered more. She adds that they had to drive to Fox Lake to fill up their cars because local gas stations were not operating. 

Fond du Lac County 

Emergency Management Director Bobbi Hicken says the department is now in response mode to help clean things up, with “trees down, powerlines down. We’re still getting some gas leaks. We
just need to get responders out there and make sure everyone is okay and to
really mitigate all of the different things that are happening out there.”

Hicken adds that people have to remember to use common sense. She reminds people to “not drive on roads that are covered with water, it is not a safe place to be. So make sure you turn around and don’t drown.”

We will have more coverage and information surrounding Tuesday’s storm and its impact throughout the week.