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Up to 80 mph winds caused damage in central Wisconsin Thursday


COLBY, WI (WTAQ) - The National Weather Service now says straight line winds of 70 to 80 miles an hour accompanied Thursday’s severe thunderstorms in central Wisconsin.

Seven barns were destroyed in the Colby area – including one owned by Terry Schmitt, who just barely escaped after a silo began to collapse around him. He said he was working in the silo when it started shaking heavily.

Schmitt hustled down a chute – and he just got out when the silo collapsed. He told the Marshfield News-Herald that his family saved 30 of its 50 cows from the damaged barn – and they lost a couple sheds as well.

No injuries were reported in the storms.

About 6,000 electric customers lost their power in the northern half of Wisconsin Thursday. The Wisconsin Public Service utility said 86 customers were still out late Friday morning, mostly in the Rhinelander and Merrill areas.

The storms cleared out late Thursday, and there’s no mention of rain in the forecast for the next few days. But it’s much colder.

It was still in the 30’s in most of the state at 10 a.m., with winds gusting in the 25 mile an hour range in many places. Forecasters say the mercury will not get out of the 40’s at least through Tuesday.