Barn, vehicles, trees damaged
By Scott Bellile
Early-morning severe weather ripped down several trees and power lines and left parts of Hortonville without electricity for four hours on Monday, July 13.
The storm rolled in around 4 a.m. Outagamie County sounded sirens because of a believed tornado sighting near Black Creek.
The National Weather Service recorded a 52 mph wind. Hortonville Police Chief Mike Sullivan said 1.75 inches of rain fell over the course of two hours.
No injuries were reported. Power was restored to the northwest side of town by 9 a.m.
“We didn’t get a lot of damage,” Sullivan said. “We just had a few unfortunate situations.”
A barn lost part of its roof and its north wall on Greendale Road. A treetop landed onto a truck, camping trailer and power line at the corner of West Bath and South Mill Streets.
Power lines ignited a tree at the corner of West Cedar and North Cherry Streets, but the downpour put out the flames and firefighters didn’t have to douse the tree, Sullivan said.
A power pole also snapped off at Givens Road and Highway T, Sullivan said, and there was another downed power line in town.
The storm caused significantly less damage than the overnight EF2 tornado that tore down hundreds of trees on Aug. 7, 2013.
“I think everybody still had a lot of preparedness in them from the tornado situation in 2013 because it was so darn recent,” Sullivan said.
Joe Nennig owns the Greendale Road farm where the heifer barn was heavily damaged. He said from inside the milk house he witnessed the wind lift the barn roof about 25 feet into the air and drop it upside down into the driveway.
The cows were spooked but unharmed, he said, and the wind sounded the same as when the tornado passed through Hortonville two years ago.
“I thought maybe I shouldn’t be standing here at these windows,” Nennig said, pointing to the milk house patio.
Nennig said he’ll likely “patch” the barn because it won’t be worth the money to fully repair it.
Jan Mallmann, whose tree collapsed onto his truck and camper on South Mill Street, said the 2013 tornado prepared him. He wasn’t startled by the boom of the tree smacking his driveway that woke him at 4:10 a.m. Monday.
However, the tree dented his truck and damaged a tail light. His camper, a 2012 model he purchased last month, lost a door and received a hole in the roof.
Mallmann had planned to take the camper out for the first time, to EAA AirVenture Oshkosh this month, but he sees that as unlikely now.
Two years earlier he lost trees to the EF2 tornado.
“My luck hasn’t run good with trees,” Mallmann said.
Connie Coe lives up the street from where Sullivan said a snapped power line set a tree aflame at West Cedar and North Cherry. Coe saw no flames in the tree, but she kept an eye on the embers blowing east toward her house.
“When the wind would blow, they would glow a little more,” Coe said.
A power line from the same pole passes the house of Mary Berrens. She had a wire sparking next to her tree, but she said she was not afraid because the rain put the sparks out.
“We lucked out,” Berrens said.
Police received no reports of storm damage in neighboring New London, according to New London Assistant Police Chief Chris Gregory.