The Latest: People trapped on Michigan Island evacuated

AP News
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Posted: Jul 12, 2016 9:24 PM
The Latest: People trapped on Michigan Island evacuated

LITCHFIELD, Minn. (AP) — The Latest on severe storms that struck Minnesota, Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan (all times local):

8:15 p.m.

Wisconsin emergency officials say everyone is unhurt and accounted for after 32 people were briefly trapped on Michigan Island in Lake Superior following severe storms.

Wisconsin Emergency Management spokesman Tod Pritchard says many of those were local residents who were camping.

He says a road had to be repaired to evacuate people, and no one was hurt.

Michigan Island is part of the Apostle Island chain off Iron County.

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This story has been corrected to correct number of people trapped to 32, per Wisconsin Emergency Management spokesman.

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6:30 p.m.

Authorities say a tornado struck Michigan's western Upper Peninsula during an overnight storm that downed trees and caused power outages and flooding.

The National Weather Service confirmed Tuesday a low-end EF1 tornado struck 3 miles south of the Gogebic County community of Bessemer. Winds were estimated around 90 mph.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources says the storm dumped nearly a foot of rain on the county and washed out access to a boat launch at Little Girl's Point County Park northwest of Ironwood. Part of Lake Road and a bridge over the South Baltimore River also have been washed away.

Some area homes were being evacuated Tuesday afternoon.

Officials have activated the State Emergency Operations Center and provided assistance on the ground and in the air and water.

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5:45 p.m.

Gov. Scott Walker has declared a state of emergency in eight Wisconsin counties after heavy rains caused flooding, power outages and damage to roads and bridges.

Walker declared the emergency Tuesday following overnight rains. The counties included in the declaration are Ashland, Bayfield, Burnett, Douglas, Iron, Price, Sawyer and Washburn.

Walker says he is instructing the Wisconsin National Guard and all state agencies to help those affected by the storms.

The National Weather Service reports nearly 10 inches of rain near Saxon, nearly 8 inches of rain near Siren and 7.5 inches near Cable.

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5 p.m.

One person in northern Wisconsin has died because of severe weather.

The Iron County Sheriff's Department issued a news release Tuesday afternoon saying that flooding in the Town of Saxon has forced authorities to block off roads for repairs.

The department said that Hurley Fire Department and other agencies helped rescue people stranded in the Saxon Harbor area.

It also says 56-year-old Mitchell R. Koski of Montreal, Wisconsin, had died, but didn't specify whether it was related to the storm or rescue efforts in Saxon Harbor. It also didn't specify how the man died or where he was found.

Sheriff Tony Furyk and Coroner Diane Simonich didn't immediately return voicemail and email messages.

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2 p.m.

Emergency officials in Wisconsin are trying to rescue nearly three dozen people that severe storms left trapped on a Lake Superior island.

Wisconsin Emergency Management issued a news release Tuesday saying 33 people were trapped on Michigan Island, part of the Apostle Island chain off Iron County. The release did not say how the people became trapped on the island. An emergency management spokeswoman referred questions to the Iron County Sheriff's Department. A message left at that agency wasn't immediately returned.

The emergency management release said rescue efforts were underway. As of midmorning, 20 people had been rescued.

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6:18 a.m.

At least two tornadoes, torrential rain and powerful winds damaged homes, caused an evacuation of a nursing home and flooded highways in north-central Minnesota.

Authorities in Meeker County say 15 to 20 homes were damaged by tornadoes Monday afternoon. The Hilltop Health Care Center in Watkins lost part of its roof, causing 50 residents to evacuate.

In Litchfield, Mayor Keith Johnson says there's serious damage, but no one has been injured.

The storms generated a deluge of heavy rain causing the Crow Wing County Sheriff's Office to advise against travel late Monday because of flooding. Flash flooding also left drivers stranded in the St. Cloud area.

The National Weather Service reported 11 inches of rain fell in the east-central Minnesota city of Sturgeon Lake.