UPDATE: Emergency conditions in Stevens Point area - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

UPDATE: Emergency conditions in Stevens Point area

STEVENS POINT (PRESS RELEASE)--Update of Emergency conditions in Stevens Point area

State of Emergency in Stevens Point  - A State of Emergency is in effect in the City of Stevens Point. WPS is working to restore power. Please use caution when traveling in the city, and do not touch downed power lines.  The underpass on Michigan Avenue remains closed due to flooding.  There is no longer a travel ban in Stevens Point.  The ban was lifted at 5am.

Water in City is Safe to Drink, but Please Limit Use  - Municipal water in the City of Stevens Point is safe to drink, but please limit your use of water until further notice.

County to Open Cooling Centers in Stevens Point  - Due to today's severe heat warning and the citywide power outages, county officials will open two cooling centers. One will be at SPASH Stevens Point Area High School, and another at Ben Franklin Junior High School at 2000 Polk Street in Stevens Point. Pets are not allowed at the cooling centers.  You can call the Humane Society at 715-344-6012.

Power Outages – Thousands of residents and business remain without power.  Crews are working to restore power throughout the city.  At this time there is no time estimate available regarding restoration of power.

City Government Offices CLOSED  - City government offices are now CLOSED. City staff and officials are concentrating on addressing issues relating to the loss of power and debris removal.

Portage County - All Portage County Courts will be closed today due to the power outage. Portage County offices at the courthouse are open but have limited services.

Point of Contact is County Public Information Center 715-346-1909.


Emergency Operations Center-Situation Report (PRESS RELEASE):

East Central Region

Severe thunderstorms with straight line winds hit central Wisconsin last night.  In addition to the damaging winds, flash flooding was also reported in Marathon, Wood and Portage counties.  Several roads were closed briefly including WI Highway 13 at WI 98 near Spencer in Marathon County.

Portage County - Stevens Point was the hardest hit area with straight line winds and heavy rain.  The city has declared a State of Emergency.  The Portage County Emergency Operations Center is open.  Emergency management teams are conducting damage assessments this morning.  As of 9:00 a.m., there are about 9,000 customers in the Stevens Point area without power.    Residents are asked to limit water usage because the city's water pressure is low due to the power outages.  All roads are now open.  Earlier, the hospital was forced to use back up generator but the power has been restored.  Due to the power outages and the severe heat, officials have opened two cooling shelters: Ben Franklin Junior High School and Stevens Point Area High School.   Local officials also report there was a fire on the city side of the government complex resulting in first floor smoke and water damage.  No word on the cause.   All court proceedings have been suspended and city offices are closed until further notice.  Portage County offices will open at noon with limited services. 

West Central Region

Heavy rains causing flash flooding were reported in several counties.  Both Taylor and Clark counties reported street flooding.

Heat Issues - Today is expected to be the hottest day of the heat wave.  Excessive heat warnings and advisories remain in effect for the state.  Temperatures will be in the upper 90's.  The humidity will remain high bringing the heat indices this afternoon and evening to between 105 and 115 degrees.  

As of 9:00 a.m., neither Wisconsin Emergency Management nor Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS)  has been notified of any heat related deaths.  Since last Friday, statewide ambulance reports show there have been 55 heat-related calls (21 reported calls since Monday). 

Many communities have opened cooling shelters to provide relief for those that do not have air conditioning.  The list is located on the WEM website at http://emergencymanagement.wi.gov and at the ReadyWisconsin site at http://ready.wi.gov/heat/cooling_centers.asp   Both websites are updated twice daily.  

Additional heat safety information is also available at the ReadyWisconsin site at http://readywisconsin.wi.gov

There has been no request for state assistance at this time.  WEM will continue to monitor the storm damage assessments and heat issues.

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