Oakfield, WI Tornado, July 1981


A 31-year-old Fond du Lac County man and his year-old daughter narrowly escaped injury Monday when a tornado wrapped a windmill around a vacant house, cut power lines and bloew the barn over on the property.

Charles Budnick, who lives west of Oakfield, was in his trailer home behind the house and had just finished doing the dishes when he heard a loud sound.

"I ran to the back of the trailer, grabbed my baby, ran outside and was going to the milk house [in the barn], but then I looked up and saw this funnel cloud bouncing up and down on top of the barn," he said.

"I then ran across the street and lay in the ditch covering my baby."

Almost everything in the barn, including heavy machinery and an antique truck, was damaged by the tornado. Shingles were blown off the house, which Budnick was repairing, a garage was moved off its foundation, and the roof of the trailer home was also damaged. But Budnick and his daughter were not injured.

Another tornado touched down in Dodge County in a field north of Highway 49, said Jerry White, emergency government director. And two other funnel clouds were seen over Horicon Marsh and south of Waupun where Highways 151 and 26 meet. No damage was reported.

The Milwaukee Journal, Milwaukee, WI 20 July 1981