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Massive tornado flattens homes, neighborhoods in OklahomaSubmitted: 05/20/2013
Massive tornado flattens homes, neighborhoods in Oklahoma
Story By The Associated Press

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - A monstrous tornado as much as a mile wide roars through the Oklahoma City suburbs, flattening entire neighborhoods, setting buildings on fire and landing a direct blow on an elementary school.

NBC News reports at least 37 people are confirmed dead as of 7:30 p.m.

The storm laid waste to scores of buildings in Moore, south of the city.

The National Weather Service says it had winds up to 200 mph.

People wearing neon-green vests were joined by residents in the search through rubble. Neighborhoods are flattened and homes blown apart.

Gary Knight with the Oklahoma City Police Department says an elementary school took a direct hit from the mile-wide tornado.



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 IN OTHER NEWS

NORTHWESTERN WI - Heavy rains have caused an earthen dam to fail in a rural area of northwestern Wisconsin.

Douglas County Emergency Management Director Keith Kesler says he's unaware of any evacuations from the damage Monday. Few people live in the area.

Kesler says water is overtopping the Radigan Flowage Dam west of Dairlyland after several days of rain.

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HARSHAW -
A culvert that collapsed after the weekend rainfall has caused Rocky Run Road west of Hwy 51 in Harshaw to be closed according to Cassian Town Chairman Tim Augustine. 


Augustine said in an email that the culvert is unsafe to be driven over. The Cassian Town Board has been working with property owners to get the culvert project underway. 

Construction to replace culvert is currently scheduled for July.

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MERCER -
People knew "Bike the Heart" as Vilas County's bike trail system.

Now that's changing as Mercer is now a part of "Bike the Heart."

That means the entire trail is more than 50 miles long!

But you'll have to wait until next month for Mercer's piece to be totally paved.

"It's been going for a long time. To be the last sort of Northern point of the trail for now, we are honored and excited about it," says Mercer Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Beth Wetzler.

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LAKE TOMAHAWK -
Heavy rain this weekend nearly delayed the start of Lake Tomahawk's snowshoe baseball season.

The Snowhawks will begin their 12 game schedule Monday night against Newswatch 12.

Early Monday, it looked like the field at Snowshoe Park might be too wet to play on.

Snowhawks Manager Jeff Smith said the sun Monday afternoon has helped prepare the wood chips on the field for the game.

"Once you get them ruffed up, it kind of pulls the moisture out. It's kind of nice to have the sun going, because it will dry some of that right up. It takes a little while, it takes a little wind, but with everything going on now it's going to make big improvements by game time," said Smith.

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WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Supreme Court rules against Wisconsin Democrats in the fight over the drawing of legislative boundaries.

Democrats believe current maps give Republicans an unfair advantage in elections.

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NORTHWOODS - The storms from the past few days have caused the Rainbow Reservoir near Lake Tomahawk to overflow to a height it hasn't reached in decades.

Two out of the five dam gates opened on Friday.

The water underneath the dam and reservoir reaches flood stage at six feet.

According to the National Weather Service, the water was measured at 6.48 feet Monday afternoon.

That's a height the water hasn't reached since the 1940's.

"I've never seen it like this before," said Lisa Dahlke who owns a house on the Wisconsin River near Rainbow Lake.

The water coming out of the dam is being released a little faster than 3,000 cubic feet per second.

"I don't know how much fishing we are going to get in but the high water kind of messes that up," said fisherman Dan Eiden.

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RHINELANDER - Wearing his black gown and mortarboard, Derek Pranke looked every bit the part of a proud graduate on Monday afternoon.

"We all pulled straight A's," Pranke said of his graduating class.

But Pranke knew his outfit beat the one he got used to wearing the last few years.

"[Class was] better than wasting time and just sitting and doing nothing in prison," Pranke said.

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