LABOR DAY TORNADO,
From 1844 to 2002 the state of Wisconsin has experienced almost 1,500 tornadoes, which have occurred in every county. The tornado season in Wisconsin lasts from April through September. Rusk County in west central Wisconsin has had 17 tornadoes during this time, the latest of which occurred in 2002 in the city of Ladysmith. Ladysmith is a small city with a population of around 4,000 people and is about an hour and forty minutes north of the city of Eau Claire
On Labor Day September 2, 2002 Ladysmith was hit by a storm being pushed by a cold front from the west that produced six tornadoes one of which hit the small northern town of Ladysmith. Five of the six tornadoes were classified as F0-F2 and swept through Marathon, Fond Du Lac and Taylor Counties. At one point an F2 tornado hit Gilman Wisconsin and torn the roof off of the school gym. At 4:20pm the most violent and devastating tornado of the six hit the town of Ladysmith. This tornado had a rating that ranged from a F0 to an F3 while it was still in the city reaching wind speeds estimated at 140-150 mph. The tornado started west of Ladysmith and dissipated south of the town of Ingram, which is just east of Ladysmith. In the thirty minutes that this tornado was on the ground it traveled 15 miles and cut a path around 400 yards wide.
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