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Stoughton Tornado - Photos

All of the photos here are from other sources and I have listed as much information as I know about each photo below. Feel free to contact me if you have a photo you would like to share with the world.

Click on a "thumbnail" photo to see the full size version.

Tornado Photos

"You can imagine my complete awe when I watched a tornado form in the field in front of me and head straight towards me! Excitement mixed with extreme fear gripped me as I watched the baby twister cross MM just 1/4 miles south of me. I was shakingly snapping photos with my digital camera, although I have many pictures where the camera couldn't pick up the transparent funnel in the low light, the last one I shot just as the tornado sucked up some dirt and turned grey ...I didn't know about how bad it got until I got home that night, but figured it wasn't good as emergency response teams passed me on their way out of madison as I drove home. ...I'm looking south west across MM from the small gas station."
Credit: Nathaniel Altfeather (August 18, 2005)
The tornado drops out of sky before heading toward Stoughton. The photographer is heading south on Hwy 51 south of McFarland.
Credit: Dale Bernstein - Midwest Severe Storm Tracking / Response Center (August 18, 2005)
The poster of this photo included a rare comment: "Too close!" I'd have to agree - the tornado appears to be just over a rise on southbound Hwy. 51.
Credit: Dale Bernstein - Midwest Severe Storm Tracking / Response Center (August 18, 2005)
You feel like you're under the tornado in this photo. The photographer is on Hwy 51 just north of the intersection with Hwy. B (heading west). His camera is pointed SWS across Lake Kegonsa.
Credit: Dale Bernstein - Midwest Severe Storm Tracking / Response Center (August 18, 2005)
Another shot of the tornado wreaking havoc (note the flying debris). I'm not sure where the photographer is in this picture.
Credit: Dale Bernstein - Midwest Severe Storm Tracking / Response Center (August 18, 2005)
At high resolution, the debris cloud fills the whole frame as the tornado rips through houses north of the city. Similar: 2 shots before - 1 shot before - 1 shot after
Credit: Unknown - people keep sending these to me - let me know if you are or know the photographer (August 18, 2005 - posted March 4, 2006)
The tornado barrels through subdivisions north of the city. This is the photo used in this site's header and was taken from the deck of a Jackson St. house. (Jerry also sent me a series of other photos taken from the same location - I hope to put together a "slide show" of these soon!)
Credit: Jerry Currie (August 18, 2005)
The tornado changes shape just after crossing Hwy. 51 - note the "notch" in the top of the funnel.
Credit: Colin McDermott (August 18, 2005)
The tornado kicks up even bigger debris as it grinds across Pleasant Springs township. The photographer says he's on Hwy. N here, but I don't know how he could have gotten there from Hwy. 51.
Credit: Dale Bernstein - Midwest Severe Storm Tracking / Response Center (August 18, 2005)
Less organized tornado releases major debris a mile in the air. I'm not sure where the photographer is in this picture, but I think he/she is east of Stoughton.
Credit: (Uncredited) - First posted on NBC15's "submitted photos" page (August 19, 2005)
Traffic on Hwy. 51 south halts two miles north of Stoughton as evil clouds pass overhead.
Credit: "philgarlic" - Flickr.com (August 19, 2005)
The departed tornado cloud mocks the Stoughton area with a vivid rainbow.
Credit: (Uncredited) - First posted on NBC15's "submitted photos" page (August 19, 2005)
The storm advances eastward, drizzling debris as it passes. Published caption: "A lightning bolt is seen with clouds as a storm passes over Brookfield, Wis., Thursday, Aug. 18, 2005. The National Weather Service issued a series of tornado warnings as the storms pushed eastward across the state."
Credit: Morry Gash - Yahoo/AP (August 20, 2005)

Damage Photos

The sun rises on Oak Knoll on the day after the tornado. Within a week, all but two of the houses along Circle Drive were leveled and hauled away by heavy equipment. Hi-resolution photo facing east from an airplane.
Credit:Contributed by Mike Dunn (August 19, 2005)
The trail of damage goes right through the heart of the neighborhood. West of the ruined subdivision, the Yahara River has been filled with debris. Hi-resolution photo facing south from an airplane.
Credit:Contributed by Mike Dunn (August 19, 2005)
This photo led off the CapTimes' first tornado edition under the massive headline "Hard to believe there weren't more deaths!" The caption underneath read, "An unidentified person walks across what was once a home as he surveys tornado damage Thursday night near the Stoughton Country Club."
Credit: Mike DeVries - CapTimes/AP (August 19, 2005)
This photo led off the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel's first tornado edition under the headline "Twisters rip across state!" The caption underneath read, "A McFarland firefighter searchs through debris of a house and looks for survivors Thursday after a tornado sweeps through a neighborhood north of Stoughton on Highway 51. Firefighters did find a cat and dog alive. No one was at home of the time (sic?) of the tornado."
Credit: Joe Koshollek - Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel (August 19, 2005)
This photo led off the Wisconsin State Journal's first tornado edition. (I lost this paper, so I don't have the headline.) The caption underneath read, "One of several tornadoes Thursday in Wisconsin ripped through an area south of Lake Kegonsa near Stoughton, destroying more than 15 homes and severely damaging at least 30, including these on Williams Drive."
Credit: Steve Apps - WSJ (August 20, 2005)
Aerial photo shows upscale house smashed, boat and car thrown. I believe this photo was included in the Wisconsin State Journal's first tornado edition. (I lost this paper, so I don't have the caption.)
Credit: ??? - WSJ (August 20, 2005)
I believe this photo was included in the Wisconsin State Journal's first tornado edition. The caption was, "The tornado did not deviate in its route to Stoughton, evident in this aerial photograph of the path."
Credit: John Maniaci - WSJ (August 20, 2005)
This house and its overturned car was the backdrop for many live television reports filed by Madison and national media. Published caption: "Tornado damage of home near Stoughton Country Club Thursday evening."
Credit: Mike DeVries - CapTimes (August 20, 2005)
Another upside-down vehicle. Published caption: "Tornado damage of truck and homes near Stoughton Country Club Thursday evening."
Credit: Mike DeVries - CapTimes (August 20, 2005)

Reaction, Cleanup and Recovery Photos

Published caption (Chicago Tribune): "Erica and Gary Hudson, left with their son Cameron,10, are comforted by an unidentified woman as they look toward the remains of their home near Stoughton, Wis."
Credit: Craig Schreiner - WSJ/AP (August 20, 2005)
Published caption: "Displaced residents line up outside City Hall in downtown Stoughton Friday morning to receive wristbands to gain access back into their homes that were damaged during Thursday night's tornado." Over eight thousand wristbands were distributed to residents, family, friends and contractors.
Credit: Michelle Stocker - CapTimes/AP (August 21, 2005)
Published caption: "Stoughton Mayor Helen Johnson (right) and Dane County Executive, Kathleen Falk, tour the damaged area early Friday morning." Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle would later tour the area and declare it a state disaster area. U.S. Representative Tammy Baldwin would also tour the area and forward the state's request for federal assistance.
Credit: Michelle Stocker - CapTimes (August 21, 2005)
Published caption: "Some of the items found in local yards after tornadoes hit the Stoughton area last week have been turned in or mailed to the Waukesha County Sheriff’s Department. Items include cards, letters and photographs that have been sorted out on a detective’s desk in Waukesha."
Credit: William Meyer - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (August 23, 2005)
Published caption: "Volunteers wait in the Stoughton High School gymnasium Saturday morning before being bused to a damaged neighborhood. More than 600 people poured into the city from as far away as Michigan, Illinois and Minnesota." This is from Saturday. More than a thousand volunteers - many of whom had lost their church the week before - turned out on Sunday.
Credit: John Manicai - WSJ (August 20, 2005)
Published caption: "Volunteers and relatives help with the search for belongings and with cleanup of devastated homes Sunday in the Stoughton area. Above right: Red Cross volunteers Bruce Murphy and Steve Bailey, of Rochester, Minn., get a snack from Tom Lebakken of Oregon."
Credit: Henry A. Koshollek - CapTimes (August 20, 2005)

"www.StoughtonTornado.org" is owned by Jonathan G. Lampe This not-for-profit web site hosts a scrapbook covering the August 18, 2005 Stoughton area tornado. The photo of the tornado in the header was taken by Jerry Currie and is used with his permission. Copyright is claimed only to protect my right to publish my own (rather sparse) original content; you are free to make copies of my original content. Archived and attributed content (e.g., images and articles) may be subject to individual copyrights. Sources, attribution and original publisher are listed to the best of my ability. This site is not an official publication nor am I officially connected to the Stoughton Area Tornado Relief Fund or the Long Term Recovery Board , although I consider myself a "booster".