Small storm packs a big punch in Oconto County

A short but powerful storm uprooted trees, damaged homes and barns, and flipped this corn crib in Brazeau in Oconto County (Photo: Ryan Wendt)
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BRAZEAU, Wis. (WBAY) - Utility crews were chasing down power outages from Green Bay to Mountain Friday night as storms packing highway-speed winds and penny-size hail walloped the area.

The storms, small in size but big in punch, caused damage to homes and roads.

Driving through the town of Brazeau in Oconto County, we saw a tree down on someone's roof. Roads were littered with small branches and leaves blown down by the wind.

Barns were damaged, too. Ryan Wendt sent a photo of an overturned corn crib in Brazeau.

Doug Kostreva shot video as the storm hit just before 4 p.m. It started with 60 mile per hour winds, then came penny-size hail.

Kostreva was working outside. He and his son had to take shelter in his warehouse.

He says he was worried about his animals that couldn't make it to the barn in time and grew concerned when he saw branches and trees begin to fall.

"There's downed trees everywhere. The roads are just full of debris," he described. "We heard chainsaws going in every direction right now as after this got done, so everybody was kind of pitching in to help clean trees. Surprised we didn't lose any power, which was amazing, but even on the southern part of the farm here I see there's a bunch of trees that are down."

Coral Ermis, who works at a nearby gas station, said a large branch fell on her home. She said the storm came unexpectedly.

"There was a lot of hail. It was all kind of crazy, because there was nothing then all of a sudden 'boom' -- a ton of rain and wind and everything," Ermis said.

"I was a little scared when I could see trees were really bending hard, and then you can hear it in the warehouse with all that hail hitting and it was so loud, and for a while I was a little frightened, I have to admit," Kostreva said.

People told us it was rare to see a storm like this come through their area, and they were grateful it only lasted 20 minutes.

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