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Farmer says barn collapse that killed cows 'devastating'

Published On: May 15 2013 11:45:56 AM CDT
Updated On: May 15 2013 07:33:19 PM CDT

Ed Herman, farmer, Marshall, Wis.


The collapse of a barn during Tuesday night storms killed at least 15 cows, according to the owner of a farm on Canal Road east of Marshall.

Ed Herman told News 3 half of the barn collapsed or was blown away when storms rolled through the area around 8:30 p.m.

"Where it fell down there were animals trapped under it and we lifted them up and got them out," Herman said. "The dead animals ... there were cattle running everywhere. It was devastating."

The barn was a unique mono-slope barn, one of few of its kind in the state, according to Herman. The barn was 3 years old.

"It was supposed to be engineered to withstand the snow load and the straight-line winds," Herman said. "[The wind] had to be unbelievably strong. It was engineered and designed to withstand that and apparently it didn't."

Herman said at least 15 feeder cattle were killed and more might need to be euthanized.

The farm is home to a couple thousand head of cattle, according to Herman, who said he simply couldn't have imagined the situation.

"Words don't describe it," Herman said.

Tuesday’s storm also caused power outages and downed utility poles. Utility pole repair resulted in the closing of a lane of Highway 19 near Sun Prairie for much of Wednesday.

Sun Prairie firefighters reported responding to 23 incidents related to high wind Tuesday night. Firefighters responded to downed tree limbs, uprooted trees, roof damage, trees fallen on top of homes, electrical arcing and other damage.

In Marshall, John Marshall and his daughter Jen were feeling lucky after a more than 100-year-old tree crushed the car in the driveway.

"Wham, just like that it was over," Marshall said. "We feel fortunate. It could have been a whole lot worse than this."

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