STEVENS POINT (WAOW) -- More than 6,000 people were without power in Portage County as of 6:00 p.m. Wednesday, and many were still cleaning up.
The storm that blew in Tuesday night arrived with a vengeance and left its mark on Stevens Point. At one point, almost 20,000 people were without power.
A state of emergency was declared Wednesday for Stevens Point, meaning people were urged to be careful and avoid downed power lines. There was so much work to do that power crews had to call in extra help to take care of the damage.
"This is pretty bad, some of the worst damage that we've seen in a while here in Stevens Point," said Kelly Zagrzebski, public relations officer with Wisconsin Public Service Corporation. "Starting about 10:30 last night we started receiving reports of power outages throughout the service area, in particular here in Stevens Point."
As the evening progressed, those calls increased. Ultimately, almost 20,000 people lost power in Stevens Point. WPS officials had to call in extra help.
"We started calling in additional crews from throughout our service area," said Zagrzebski. "We've got crews here right now from Wausau, Rhinelander, Minoqua."
The storm knocked out power at Saint Michael's Hospital for about eight hours. Mid-State Technical College closed due to no power and flooding.
WPS dispatched more than 45 crews to take care of the damage. But with such hot temperatures, it's difficult.
"We're taking some safety precautions with our crews, making sure that they have water that's out there, food that's out there, just to keep them going so that they do stay healthy," said Zagrzebski.
Crews said power restoration would likely go well into Wednesday evening and perhaps longer—depending on the weather.