Nebraska officials plan to visit areas of the state's Panhandle that were hammered by severe wintry weather over the weekend. The tour is set for Tuesday.
Lt. Governor Lavon Heidemann will tour Chadron to survey damage. He will be accompanied by Al Berndt, the assistant director of the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency.
A massive, wind-whipped snowstorm hit the area beginning Friday. Officials say there was heavy tree damage along the Highway 20 corridor between Rushville and Harrison. Chadron and Crawford were especially hit, and officials say Chadron received 10 inches of snow.
In additioin to structural damage, there are reports throughout the area from local ranchers of heavy cattle loss due to the freezing conditions of the severe storm. There are no confirmed numbers on livestock losses.
“The damaged suffered in our communities as a result of the severe winter storm and tornadoes is extensive,” said Governor Heineman. “I have asked the Lt. Governor to be on the ground in the Chadron area to see damage first-hand. Nebraska Emergency Management Agency and other state agencies are working diligently to assess the situation and support local efforts. My thoughts are with the Nebraska families affected by the severe storms we have recently experienced throughout the state.”
The snowstorm to the west coupled with tornadoes to the east as colliding air masses triggered a weekend of turbulent weather.
The governor has issued an emergency declaration that encompasses the tornadoes and severe storms that have caused broad damage throughout the state. Heineman toured the tornado damage in Wayne this past weekend.