Sirens activated for waterspouts sightings; funnel clouds sighted in southeast

At around 1:20 p.m., some area severe weather warning sirens are sounding.

Police radio transmissions from Pleasant Prairie and the Sheriff’s Department suggest officials are tracking two waterspouts over Lake Michigan.

UPDATE 1:28 p.m. — Kenosha County Emergency Management just issued a emergency message saying that two funnel clouds have been sighted in the southeast portion of the county. No National Weather Service warning yet.

UPDATE 1:29 p.m. — Pleasant Prairie police officer watching the spouts say one appears to be dissipating. Also appears to be moving south still over the lake.

UPDATE 1:37 p.m. — Kenosha Police Department Facebook page has a photo.

UPDATE 1:46 p.m. — A statement on the sirens from Sgt. Bill Beth, Sheriff’s Department spokesman: “At about 1:25 a funnel cloud was sighted in the City of Kenosha at about 94th St near Lake Michigan. Water spouts were then sighted over Lake Michigan a couple of miles off shore south of 104th St. Kenosha Joint Services dispatch center activated the tornado sirens based on multiple phone calls from citizens’, a police officer report of seeing the funnel cloud and observations from the dispatch center itself. The National Weather Service did not see rotation in the storm clouds on radar, so no official Tornado warning was issued from the National Weather Service.”

UPDATE 1:56 p.m. — Another great photo from the Kenosha PD Facebook page.

UPDATE 1:58 p.m. — Here’s more info on waterspouts in general.

UPDATE 2:03 p.m. — Temps have dropped in Paddock Lake and wind has picked up.

UPDATE 4:53 p.m. — Sgt. Beth issues the following statement: “At 1404 Pleasant Prairie PD received a call from a resident who believed he had seen a boat be overtaken by the water spout.  The Kenosha Sheriff’s Department has talked to additional residents who are very sure that they saw the mast of a sailboat about one mile off shore that was over taken by the water spout as the water spout moved South.  Then when the water spout dissipated they did not see the sailboat anymore.  We have not seen any physical evidence of boat debris wash up on shore.  The Coast Guard is currently conducting a search using a helicopter, a boat out of Kenosha Harbor and a larger vessel out of Waukegan.”

UPDATE 5:36 p.m. — From Sgt. Beth: “The Coast Guard has suspended the search of Lake Michigan off the shore of the Carol Beach area in Pleasant Prairie. They have not located a distressed water craft nor any debris from a water craft.”

UPDATE 9:28 p.m. — Here is some video of the waterspout linked to by the National Weather Service Facebook page:



  1. Gary says:

    Sirens blaring in far western Kenosha County. No info on my NOWA radio until well after sirens go silent, then it shows “UNSPECIFIED WARNING”…
    Either give correct info or don’t activate sirens. There is a risk people will start ignoring sirens that sound for events that in no way will affect them.
    Lets see if this can be improved.

  2. chris says:

    I both agree and disagree with Gary. Information was late and incomplete. However, that exactly what the sirens are for! To get people alert of something going on.
    Yes I heard them. In about a minute I was able to put together that;
    1. It was a Thursday afternoon. There should not be a test going on.
    2. It was the day ‘after’ September 11. I prayed and hoped for a tornado at that point.
    3. I stopped what I was doing and turned on the TV and radio to gather more information.

    With todays technology anyone is but a click away from a radar image on their TV, phone or computer. If the funnel clouds were threatenjing anyone I’m sure the sheriffs department would have been quick in spreading the word to the people in the path of the storms. Over all people need to be aware of their surroundings and take personal responsibility for themselves.

  3. Matt says:

    I’m with Gary here. First thing I did was check weather, got nothing but a little red near the lake. Next I checked all media outlets..thought maybe we were being attacked. If there is no imminent danger, why on earth would they sound the sirens here? That’s just a little overkill, and if it keeps up, no one will believe the sirens.

  • Follow us on

  • Archives