Try 1 month for 99¢

A violent thunderstorm that blew through south-central Wisconsin on Wednesday evening flooded streets, snapped tree branches and damaged buildings.

It was the second storm that swept through the area within 24 hours after weeks of drought that prompted Gov. Scott Walker on Wednesday to expand his emergency declaration to all 72 Wisconsin counties.

The storm that ripped through the area Wednesday night included wind speeds of 71 miles per hour in Mount Horeb, according to the National Weather Service. A trained spotter told the weather service that a person there suffered minor head injuries from a falling tree around 6:30 p.m.

In Madison, cars drove through several inches of water that flooded the portion of University Avenue near Shorewood Hills and some downtown streets. The water later receded.

"We didn't get any reports of any damaging flooding that wasn't in a street," said National Weather Service meteorologist Jake Wimberley.

The side of a Sauk City Ace Hardware building was blown off around 6:12 p.m., the Sauk County 911 Center reported.

Hail estimated at two inches in diameter punched large holes in the roof of an Orfordville farm house in western Rock County, a spotter reported.

As of 8 p.m. the heart of the storm dumped at least 1.1 inches of rain on Madison, Wimberley said.

Earlier Wednesday a morning rainstorm brought a much-needed break from hot and dry weather, dumping more than two inches of precipitation in some parts of Madison while missing others entirely.

The morning's storm brought the total rainfall measured at the airport to just 0.34 inches since June 1, well off the normal level of 7.05 inches through July 18. Wimberley said more definitive rainfall totals from the evening storm wouldn't be available until Thursday as a light rain continued into Wednesday night.

Wimberley said the effects of the two storms are likely limited to making lawns a little greener and don't offer long-term relief to farmers, gardeners and others seeking more precipitation.

"It's not going to make it like we've had a wet summer, or a normal summer," Wimberley said.

Despite the rain, Walker cited the drought's impact on farmers and the increased number of wildfires in his decision to expand the emergency declaration statewide.

Subscribe to Daily Headlines

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.