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Tornado demolishes homes & businesses, injures 40

LADYSMITH, Wis. (BP)–Authorities predicted damage estimates to be in the millions of dollars following a tornado that destroyed scores of buildings and homes and injured dozens of people as it swept through the small northwestern Wisconsin town of Ladysmith on Labor Day.

Gov. Scott McCallum declared a state of emergency in the small town. The tornado touched down Sept. 2, cutting a swath of destruction through downtown and nearby residential areas at a time when many people were at home for the holiday.

About 40 people were hurt, with almost all of the injuries minor. There were no fatalities.

About 100 to 150 structures in the path of the tornado were damaged or destroyed. An area of about three to four blocks wide and 15 blocks long was most affected.

Betty Lynn Cadle, disaster relief director for the Minnesota-Wisconsin Baptist Convention, said one Southern Baptist family lost their home in the tornado.

Chuck and Holly Bruce, members of Trinity Baptist Church in Eau Claire, Wis., were not injured when the storm destroyed their house. The young couple is expecting their first child in March and they lost all their material possessions in the storm.

So far, Cadle said the state’s disaster relief teams have not been activated. “We’re here and ready to go if we’re called,” she said.

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