Severe Storms Sweep Through Dodge, Fond du Lac Counties

UPDATED 10am WEDNESDAY (Waupun) Storms swept through the area Tuesday afternoon triggering Tornado Warnings in northern Dodge County and southern Fond du Lac County before heading east. The National Weather Service says trained weather spotters confirmed tornados touching down in Oakfield and Lomira. Meteorologists with Weather Eye tell that there was no one big tornado that swept through the area, rather a series of “tornado spring-ups…that were brief but intense.” That combined with possible straight line winds resulted numerous downed trees and power lines.

State Highway 49 is closed to repair a power line near Pole Road east of Brownsville. The Dodge County Sheriff’s Office says the highway may be closed up to 24-hours. Detour signs are in place. Alliant Energy is reporting less customers without power in the Waupun-area. There were in excess of 1000 people without power at the height of the storms yesterday, that number dropped to 650 overnight and was at around 600 as of 10am. Alliant says it expects power to be restored in the Waupun-area at 9pm Wednesday.

Dodge County Emergency Management released this statement at 6:20pm:

Strong thunderstorms, associated with a tornado warning, moved across Dodge County around 4pm this afternoon.  The storms caused damage to trees, power lines and poles, and some structures near the Brownsville and Lomira areas.  After sounding the tornado warnings, Dodge County Central dispatch started receiving calls with reports of damage.  Local responders were dispatched to several reports of damage, in the areas of State Highway 175 and State Highway 49.  Responders are continuing to assist with road closures as the power companies fix downed lines, citizens are reminded to stay clear of downed lines as they may still be energized. 

Dodge County Emergency Management has contacted the National Weather Service and provided locations and pictures of the damage.  Local residents with damage to their property are encourage to take pictures and contact their insurance companies/agents. 

Dodge County Emergency Management states that “We encourage citizens to have an emergency plan for severe weather and to have multiple ways to get weather warnings, as today’s storms are a perfect example of why people need to be aware of the weather forecast, as Tornado Warnings and Sever Thunderstorms can occur and cause damage, at any time.” 


The Brownsville Fire Department issued a press release Tuesday evening at 10pm:

“The Village of Brownsville and the surrounding area sustained significant wind damage as a result of the storms that moved through the northern part of Dodge County. According to the Brownsville Fire Chief, Kelly Thomas, the village and areas surrounding the village sustained significant wind damage causing many trees to be blown over taking down power lines and causing property damage. No reports of injury have been received as a result of this event. Many homes and businesses are without power, WE Energies will work through the night to remove powerlines from downed trees and across road ways. At this point there is no estimation on power restoration. Village Marshal, Brad Seymour is requesting that people stay out of the area so that clean-up efforts are not hampered by concerns with onlookers. Highway 49 remains open through the village.  Village residents looking for assistance are encouraged to stop at the fire station Wednesday after 9am for further direction on clean up. Those affected by the wind damage are encouraged to contact their insurance company for direction. Further information will be gathered and released in daylight Wednesday.”


City Administrator Kathy Schlieve issued this following press release at 10pm:

“The City of Waupun has declared a state of emergency.  At approximately 4 p.m. the city was hit by strong thunderstorms that were associated with a tornado warning.  This is a changing but still very dangerous situation.  At this time, we are aware of a significant number of downed trees and powerlines.  Citizens are reminded to stay clear of downed lines as they may still be energized.  There are pockets of the city that have power restored, including Waupun Memorial Hospital and the wastewater treatment plant.  Waupun Public Utility crews will continue to work through the night to restore power to as many customers as possible.  It is likely that some customers will remain without power into tomorrow.  At this point the Department of Public Works is reporting ninety-percent of city streets are open.  Streets that are not open are a result of wires entangled in downed trees and those blockages will be addressed at daylight.  The city has called for mutual aid and utility crews from Columbus, Kaukauna, and Manitowoc are onsite assisting with power restoration.  Additionally, fire departments from Van Dyne, Lamartine, Ripon, Eldorado and Oakfield have responded with assistance.  At this time, the curfew starting at 10 p.m. on Tuesday, August 28, remains in place until 6 a.m. on Wednesday, August 29.  An Emergency Operations Center remains staffed through the night at Waupun Public Utilities and we will be issuing an updated communication at 12:00 a.m. on August 29.” 


City Administrator Kathy Schlieve issued this following press release at 8:45pm:

“The City of Waupun has declared a state of emergency and is seeking assistance from county and state resources.  At approximately 4pm the city was hit by strong thunderstorms that were associated with a tornado warning.  Damage assessments are underway.  We are aware that power is out throughout the city and there are downed power lines.  Citizens are reminded to stay clear of downed lines as they may still be energized.   It is recommended that if electronic devices are running low on power that they are connected to a power source in a vehicle to charge those devices.  Residents are instructed to take pictures and contact their insurance company to report property damage.  With sump pumps not running, residents are reminded to check their basements and move valuables to higher storage to avoid potential water damage.

A curfew has been established at 10 p.m. on Tuesday, August 28 until 6 a.m. on Wednesday, August 29.  During the time the curfew is in order, residents are required to stay off the roadways.  No entry into the city will be granted unless proof of residency is provided or for shift workers reporting to work within the city limits with their employer issued identification.  Waupun Public Utility crews are assessing downed power lines and Department of Public Works crews are addressing down trees and other damages.  At this time we are not aware of any injuries.  We have checked with all Senior living and assisted care facilities and Waupun Memorial Hospital.  At this time their needs have been addressed and we will continue to monitor the situation. 

If residents are unable to stay in their home, a shelter has been opened at Brandon Elementary School, 200 West Bowen Street, Brandon, WI.  Residents who cannot self-transport are asked to call 920-324-7920 and transportation will be provided.  An Emergency Operations Center has been established at Waupun Public Utilities and we will be issuing an updated communication at 10:00 p.m.”


Waupun Mayor Julie Nickel posted this to her Facebook page at 7:10pm:

City crews continue to work on clearing trees and streets. Multiple utility companies have been called in to assist Waupun Utilities in repairing our main transformer and power lines. AmericInn Hotel is holding several rooms available if you need a place to stay overnight. Cell service is slow due to everyone using their phones and computers. We are declaring a local state of emergency, so I beg you to stay off the streets. Please check on your neighbors if your yard is safe to do so, prepare for the dark to come with candles and flashlights, and I will keep you updated in another hour.


The Beaver Dam River at Beaver Dam is less than one foot below flood stage. The National Weather Service says the south branch of the Rock River at Waupun is around a half foot short of flooding. Dodge County and most of the listening area is under a Severe Thunderstorm Watch until 9pm Tuesday and a Flash Flood Watch through Wednesday morning at 7am.


Pictures taken in the Lomira-Brownsville area on August 28, 2018 at 6pm:


Pictures taken in the Waupun area on August 28, 2018 at 6:30pm: