Storms hits Hammond area hard
Shortly after 11 a.m. on Wednesday, July 14, a storm hit and caused substantial damage to a newer housing development about a mile northwest of Hammond.
According to St. Croix County Sheriff Dennis Hillstead, the damage from the storm began at County Road TT and traveled north for about two miles.
About 30 homes were damaged in some way, with three receiving significant damage.
"There were no injuries that we're aware of," he said.
Angela Richter, who lives at 1604 86th Avenue, was running her daycare when the storm hit.
"We were eating lunch in the kitchen," said Richter. "I started seeing stuff flying in the backyard."
She rushed all the children down to the basement.
The storm shattered a window in her house and ripped the side off of her garage, spilling its contents on the lawn.
"The whole house was shaking," said Richter's daughter Kenzie.
Other homes suffered similar damage. A house down the road had its garage wall destroyed, and several garage doors were crumpled.
Shingles littered many area yards and streets and gutters dangled from several rooftops. Basketball hoops and play sets laid on their sides.
Crops sustained damage as well. Many cornfields in the area were blown down, although it's unclear if the fields are a total loss or if they will be able to recover. Several trees were also damaged or knocked over completely.
It is still unclear if the damage was due only to straight-line winds, or if a funnel cloud touched down as well.
"It appears to be mostly straight-line winds, but there could have been a tail of a tornado that touched down too," he said, noting that come of the damage discovered was in a circular pattern typical of a funnel cloud touch down. "It could be a little bit of both."
In 2005, a June tornado hit the Hammond area, causing damage to about two dozen homes.
Look for a full story on the Wednesday storm in the July 22 edition of the New Richmond News.