The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

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Winds cause widespread damage


March 9, 2017

Heidi Ofstad/Daily Globe

HEAVY WINDS uprooted a huge evergreen tree next to the Elk and Hound Restaurant at the Gogebic Country Club in Ironwood.

Gusty west winds that continued on Wednesday morning combined with snow on the Gogebic Range to create some hazardous driving conditions and power outages.

Trees and branches fell across many roadways Tuesday and Wednesday as debris was scattered throughout the area by 30 to 50 mph winds.

Highway billboard signs in Ironwood and Kimball, Wis., blew down during wind peaks, trash cans were damaged and leaves were scattered like on a late autumn day.

Most of the previous snow had melted, so the drifting was mostly limited to the inch of new snow that arrived overnight.

The Ironwood Public Safety Department received several wind-related complaints, including a downed power line on Superior Street around 6:40 p.m. Tuesday.

Trees fell across Scott Street and at the Douglas Boulevard-Coolidge Avenue intersection.

The IPSD received a Tuesday complaint of shingles and sheet metal blowing off a roof on a building on the 200 block of McLeod Avenue, next to the Back Street cycle shop. A vehicle owned by Scott Eilkin, of Ironwood, sustained damage to the roof, fender and hood from the falling debris while it was parked next to the building.

Alarms were set off at the Pioneer Park Apartments because of the wind.

There was damage to the old Kmart building on Cloverland Drive. A front sliding door was ripped off and shattered by the wind and had to be replaced with plywood.

The wind even created a UFO report. An Ironwood resident said he saw a moving light in the sky near his house and officers discovered it was only a street light blowing in the wind. The fog made it seem like it was flying around.

Power outages continued into Wednesday across parts of the Upper Peninsula and northern Wisconsin.

Wind gusts as high as 71 mph were reported in the U.P. on Tuesday.

It was so windy that the National Weather Service was advising motorists to keep both hands firmly on the steering wheel because vehicles were in jeopardy of being blown off course.

It was estimated on Wednesday morning that about 1,800 customers in the western U.P. were without power, including in Gogebic County.

Autrain-Onota and Stephenson schools both closed Wednesday in the U.P. because of power outages.

In Wisconsin, a semi tipped over in the wind on I-39, near Janesville, and a trailer tipped over in Dane County on North 51, near Windsor, just before noon Wednesday.

By 10 a.m. on Wednesday in Ironwood, the wind had died down to 12 mph, but there were gusts up to 25 mph.

A wind advisory remained in effect until 6 p.m. Wednesday.

The cold weather that returned to Ironwood is expected to last for about a week, with readings around zero possible. Friday will be particularly frigid, with a high of 9 and low of 2 predicted.

There's hardly any snow in the National Weather Service forecast, with Monday offering a chance of less than an inch.


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