Tip Line: 414-777-5808 | newsdesk@cbs58.com

A look back at the destructive 1996 F-5 Oakfield tornado

OAKFIELD, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Friday is the last day of Severe Weather Awareness Week in Wisconsin and after Thursday’s tornado drills and Friday morning's severe storms, we look back 20 years to the 1996 F-5 tornado that destroyed Oakfield, Wisconsin.

That tornado was the last F-5 to hit Wisconsin and did over $40 million in damage.

CBS 58 footage and interviews from the days after the tornado hit show the destruction the July 18, 1996 tornado did to the small Fond du Lac County village of Oakfield.

"There's neds over there and houses on other people's houses. I don't know what else to say," said one woman cleaning up.

The tornado damaged over 100 homes and several businesses and churches including St. Luke's where another woman took cover, "The noise was so bad you couldn’t imagine the noise. And the pressure. It tried to take us right out of the basement.”

One of the businesses destroyed by the tornado was the Friday Canning Company. After the tornado passed, the whole village was covered with aluminum cans

Back in 2015 just before the 20th anniversary of the tornado, Ready Weather Meteorologist Michael Schlesinger talked with a family who survived the tornado, "I remember walking down the driveway to come across the street and saying to Rick over and over 'it’s all gone. It’s all gone.'”

That family’s home was completely destroyed but they were able to rebuild just three months later.

Despite the damage, no one died in the Oakfield tornado and only 17 were injured.

Share this article: