Are floods, tornados, and tire fires your thing? The new Wisconsin Emergency Management Images and Historic Materials contains images taken by emergency management officials in the aftermath of numerous disasters that have hit Wisconsin. Particularly signficant are images of the 1996 Oakfield tornado a F5 with estimated wind speeds of 265 mph. There were no fatalities in this event, but the damage amounted to $39.5 million in public/private property, and $900,000 in crop losses.
Also included in the collection are remarkable photographs of the 1965 Monroe tornado, which was just one event in the 12 hour rash of Midwest tornados known as the Palm Sunday outbreak.
The materials are a photographic record of the meteorological and climatological history of Wisconsin and offer an understanding of how natural disasters, and the efforts to mitigate their impacts, have transformed Wisconsin’s landscape and built environment over time. They also illustrate changes in emergency preparedness and response practices over time and the materials capture an important piece of Wisconsin history—traumatic events that triggered massive public response and recovery efforts and changed Wisconsin communities.