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Friday

November 2014

21

Stay out of Eagle

Eagle residents and people just interested in taking a look at the aftermath of the tornado that touched down in Eagle last night are being told to stay away this morning.

Power lines are still down and in some cases still live, making the situation dangerous. About 20,000 customers are still without power throughout the area. At the height of the storm last night, more than 40,000 were out, according to reports.

Police are keeping people out of the area. Highway 67 is closed from Highways LO to 59, through the heart of the village.

The tornado touched down at about 9:15 p.m.Monday. Waukesha County Sheriff Dan Trawicki said his department had deputies on the scene last night, along with officers from about 20 other municipal police departments.

About 20 homes were "substantially damaged," he said. There were no fatalities and only minor injuries, which Eagle Fire Chief Justin Heim credited to "the grace of God." 

Heim's own home is among about a half-dozen that were leveled by the storm. He was at the Fire Department when the storm hit, but his family was trapped in the basement of their home and had to be rescued. There were three or four other rescues of trapped families, he said.

Trawicki said law enforcement and fire officials went door-to-door to check on residents' well-being. Everyone is accounted for, he said.

"You just hope and pray something like this never happens," Heim said. The sitatuion was "almost overwhelming," but was even more overwhelming was the support from area law enforcement and neighboring fire departments, he added.

Heim said about 20 Fire Departments from Waukesha, Walworth and Jefferson counties have helped.

One of Heim's top priorities on a "very short list" of things to examine once the  cleanup is completed is to determine why the village's tornado sirens never activated.

Crews from the National Weather Service were expected to survey the area today.

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