Early this morning, a line of severe storms running the length of Dane County hit Madison, bringing strong winds, hail and damage to homes on the southwest side of the city.
The National Weather Service reported up to 60 mph gusts with hail an inch in diameter coming from the storm system, which blew through the bulk of the city and campus.
Wisconsin Emergency Management released a preliminary situation report this morning, confirming the touchdown of a tornado near Mineral Point Road on the west side of Madison soon after midnight.
Madison Fire Department spokesperson Bernadette Galvez said at least 23 homes on the southwest side of Madison, near Friar Lane, were damaged by the wind, power outages and flying debris. In addition, Galvez said numerous trees fell and outages were reported near Rutledge Street, on the near east side of town.
“Last night was crazy,” Galvez said. “Our radio was going off nonstop.”
In a statement issued early this morning, Jerry McMullen of the MFD extended the damage report of the east side, describing outages and wind damage from the 700 block of Williamson Street to the Yahara River and from Jenifer Street to Lake Monona.
University of Wisconsin Police Department spokesperson Marc Lovicott said the campus was left unscathed by the storms, aside from a couple of power outages.
Mayor Paul Soglin saidt the bulk of the direct damage inflicted on private residences occurred in the southwest side of town, while much of the harm done to homes and businesses on the near east side was caused by trees uprooted in the storm.
Soglin estimates repairs will cost between seven and ten million dollars in both public and private expenditures, in Madison alone.