Sheriff's officials: 2 people have died in Wisconsin floods



Officials in the City of Watkins are making sure residents whose property sustained damage in Monday's tornado aren't taken advantage of by unscrupulous contractors.

Tornadoes are ranked on a scale of 0 to 5 according to wind speed and damage potential.

Although EF-2 is at the top of the bottom half of this scale, winds were strong enough to cause considerable damage to property.

In Watkins, the Hilltop Health Care Center lost part of its roof and 50 residents of the nursing home were evacuated.

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. Storms spawned tornadoes, torrential rain and powerful winds that prompted evacuations, damaged homes, deposited a snowplow in a tree and flooded roads in parts of Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin. The deputy was able to get out of the vehicle and clung to a tree for more than two hours before he was rescued, authorities said.

The weather service said it received reports from law enforcement that state, county and local roads were under water in the warned areas, including Grantsburg, Spooner, Hayward, Ashland, Iron River and Trego.

Wisconsin Emergency Management issued a news release Tuesday saying 33 people were trapped on Michigan Island, part of the Apostle Island chain near Bayfield, Wisconsin.

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

At least four tornadoes moved across central Minnesota during severe storms Monday night, according to the National Weather Service.

The National Weather Service confirmed Tuesday a low-end EF1 tornado struck 3 miles south of the Gogebic County community of Bessemer.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch ( ) says the storm Wednesday afternoon knocked out power to 111,500 homes and businesses in Missouri, largely near St. Louis. Flooding remains a threat in east-central Minnesota and northwestern Wisconsin where the National Weather Service says up to 10 inches of rain has fallen in some areas, putting roads underwater and washing out others.

Officials have activated the Michigan Emergency Operations Center and provided assistance on the ground and in the air and water. Keith Johnson, the mayor of Litchfield about 70 miles west of Minneapolis, said there was serious damage, but that no one was injured.

"Do not drive into areas where water covers the road under any circumstances", the weather service said.

· WIS 169 is closed between United States 2 and the town of Gurney.

France eye Germany after ending Iceland's dream
Portugal, Spain face prospect of EU budget fines