Fire closes Siren schools early; heavy rain, hail reported in far northState emergency management officials reported late Tuesday that a fire in a gymnasium at Siren High School prompted an evacuation at the school and sent students home at noon. Meanwhile, various northern and western counties continue to mop up from damaging storms that struck over the long weekend.
Fire closes Siren schools early
SIREN -- State emergency management officials reported late Tuesday that a fire in a gymnasium at Siren High School prompted an evacuation at the school and sent students home at noon.
All students and staff escaped the building safely.
Firefighters from Siren, Webster, Grantsburg, St. Croix-Hertel (Tribal) and Frederick were at the scene.
The incident comes less than 24 hours after a line of severe storms swept through the region, dropping hail as large as golf balls in some areas of the Northland Monday afternoon.
The Duluth News-Tribune reported spotters relayed by the National Weather Service in Duluth included reports of golf-ball-size hailstones near Sawyer and Carlton; in Duluth’s Gary-New Duluth neighborhood, where they damaged some siding; and in the Morgan Park neighborhood, where street flooding also was reported.
Other spotter reports included:
•Penny-size hail near the UW-Superior campus.
•Hail up to quarter-size covering the ground at Herbster.
•Half-dollar-size hailstones covering the ground at Port Wing.
There were numerous reports of pea- to marble-size hail covering the ground at locations in and around the Twin Ports.
The storms also brought yet another round of heavy rain to parts of the region. Western Lake Superior Sanitary District gauges recorded 2.17 inches of rain in Wrenshall on Monday, and 1.8 inches in Proctor.
Flood warnings continue for the St. Louis River at Scanlon and the Mississippi River at Aitkin, where water levels are high from the recent heavy rainfall.
Repeated rounds of heavy rain in northwestern Wisconsin have caused several rivers and creeks, including the Mississippi River to rise. However, major flooding is not expected.
Various counties reported the following situations:
Barron County: Some roads were blocked due to fallen trees.
Bayfield County: Officials in Bayfield County continue to conduct damage assessments following the heavy rainfall that caused damage to numerous roads. Road damage is reported in the Towns of Bell, Kelly, Port Wing and Russell and also reported on tribal lands of the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa.
Douglas County: Officials report the county was hit again with heavy rain Monday but no additional damage was sustained. However, several roads remained closed due to damage caused by flooding. County Highway D and Highway UU remain closed. County Highway P is down to one lane. Officials continue to conduct damage assessments. There have been no reports of residents displace as a result of the storms.
Polk County: Storms over the weekend caused road and street damage in Towns of Clam Falls, Laketown, West Sweden and Village of Frederick. Emergency management officials are still surveying the damage but estimate about $40,000 in damage to roads.
Chippewa County: Chippewa County Emergency Management reported four homes received minor damage and a barn was destroyed from last Thursday's severe storms. In addition, Dunn Electric sustained $6,750 and Chippewa Valley Electric reported $2,000 in damage to the rural electrical cooperatives.
Eau Claire County: Cleanup continued following the storm that passed through on Thursday. New damage reports include the County Materials Corporation that sustained damage to their facility. In addition, some private hangers were damaged by the wind at the Chippewa Valley Regional Airport. All power has been fully restored.