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Utility crews have restored power to more than 138,000 customers after severe stormsSubmitted: 07/22/2019
WISCONSIN - Utility crews have restored power to more than 138,000 customers following destructive thunderstorms that struck eastern Wisconsin this weekend.

But WE Energies and Wisconsin Public Service say around 127,000 customers were still without power as of around midday Sunday.


The Green Bay Press-Gazette reports that Stevens Point remains the hardest hit area with more than 28,000 WE Energies and WPS customers experiencing outages. In the Green Bay area, power was still out for 18,000 customers.

Matt Cullen, a spokesman for WE Energies and WPS, warns that the extent of the damage could keep some customers without power for days.

On the positive side, Saturday's storms broke the heatwave in Wisconsin, with Sunday highs forecast in the upper 70s and low 80s under partly to mostly sunny skies.

For WPS outages head to the Wisconsin Public Service website here.

For WE Energies outages head to their website here.


Story By: Associated Press

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 LOCAL NEWS

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PHELPS - An "antique critique" in Phelps Sunday helped people learn the value of their collectables, family heirlooms and thrift store finds with a little help from a familiar face. 

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NORTHWOODS - Parts of Langlade County are in pieces after Friday night's storm. 

Five trees fell on Dee Powell's house in Pickerel. His garage caved in and his truck was smashed. Trees that have stood on his family's land for a century split like a toothpick in winds close to 100 miles an hour.

"I work all over the United States and I've never seen anything like this," said Powell.

Down Highway 55 in Lily, the scene is eerily similar for Brittaney Hauser and her family.

"We ran to the basement," said Hauser. "You could hear everything breaking, you could hear everything smashing, and we hadn't realized how much damage it had caused until we had seen in between the lightning flashes."

The morning light showed dozens of trees on her driveway.

"You couldn't even see the lane, you couldn't see any of that," said Hauser. "It was just covered with trees."

Hauser used to have a field of tall pines around her house. Now, only the splintered ends remain. Luckily no trees fell on the house with Hauser, her husband, and two boys inside.

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PICKEREL - The Siebers family spent much of their Sunday scrubbing. The linings of their walk-in freezer were covered in mold.

The Siebers' restaurant, The Northwoods Inn, lost power after the storm Friday night.

"We've been through a lot here," said co-owner Perry Siebers. "We've been here 23 years, but it's tough."

The Siebers had to throw away thousands of dollars' worth of food from their freezer.

"We only had one generator, so enough to run two chest-freezers," said co-owner Kelly Siebers. "For our big walk-in cooler, all the food is pretty much a loss."

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ONEIDA COUNTY -
Severe summer storms led to at least one of two emergencies Pine Lake Fire Rescue responded to Friday night.

According to a department Facebook post, firefighters were dispatched to a natural gas leak off White Pine Rd in Stella caused by the storm.

Homeowners were evacuated for over two hours until WPS could shut off the gas line.

Those firefighters were also dispatched to a one vehicle accident on Shepherd Lake Rd Friday night.

The driver from the accident was transported to St Mary's in Rhinelander for non-life threatening injuries.


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 REGIONAL NEWS

MADISON -  A report shows 11 rural hospitals in Wisconsin stopped routinely delivering babies in the past 10 years.

The Wisconsin Office of Rural Health report shows that the closures were due to the challenge of a low number of both on-call providers and number of deliveries.

The Wisconsin State Journal reports the most recent obstetrics closures were in Grantsburg and Ripon in 2017.

The report, which was released last week, indicates that 56% of the state's rural hospitals perform routine deliveries, compared with 40% of rural hospitals nationally.

The report says nearly 99% of women of child-bearing age in Wisconsin live within a 30-minute drive of a hospital that provides obstetrics.

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DE PERE - St. Norbert Abbey in Wisconsin has released the names of 22 priests who faced "credible" allegations of sexually abusing minors.

The abbey says an independent review deemed more than 40 allegations credible. About half came from the 1960s, and 12 Norbertine priests faced multiple allegations. All but five are dead. Two of the living have left the abbey and ministry; three others are restricted from ministry.

Abbot Dane Radecki says the names were released Friday in the spirit of accountability, but gave few details of the allegations.

The abbey serves St. Norbert College and some schools and parishes around De Pere.

The report came six months after the Green Bay Diocese named 46 priests with credible claims of sexual abuse against them but did not include priests from independent orders.


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MADISON - Madison police say they've arrested two teenage girls after a report of shots fired led to a chase and a crash into a squad car.

Officers responded to the shots fired around 12:45 p.m. Saturday. They found nobody injured or any damage, but found a shell casing and evidence that a suspected stolen car that had left the area was connected to the shots.

Police spotted the car about 45 minutes later and began a chase. After crashing into a Madison squad car, the two suspects ran away, leading to a short foot chase before they were arrested.

The 17-year-old and 16-year-old female suspects face charges of eluding a police officer and operating a vehicle without the owner's consent.

Both suspects and two Madison officers were treated for minor injuries.


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MILWAUKEE - Some Wisconsin residents were cleaning up from a round of heavy wind and rain while others braced for more severe weather as storms moved through the state.

As of Saturday afternoon, about 110,000 customers were without power, according to information from Wisconsin Public Service and We Energies. Information from We Energies' website shows the bulk of those " more than 69,000 customers " were in the Green Bay area.

The power outages affected about 6,000 customers in southeastern Wisconsin, including the Milwaukee area, which was under an excessive heat warning until Saturday night. The cities of Milwaukee and Waukesha posted a list of cooling sites online, where residents could go to stay safe in the intense heat.

Meanwhile, residents in western Wisconsin were cleaning up after Friday's storms downed several trees and power lines and damaged buildings.

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