Extensive Storm Damage Across Nebraska, Iowa

By: WOWT, The Associated Press Email
By: WOWT, The Associated Press Email

Storms brought tornadoes, heavy rain, hail and strong winds leaving behind property damage and flooding across Nebraska and Iowa on Saturday. No major injuries have been reported.

A round of storms passed through the region after the 10 o'clock hour Friday night. Two tornado warnings were issued by the National Weather Service during the late night storm event.

The first warning was for Lancaster County shortly after 11:30 pm, it was allowed to expire. However, the Lancaster County Sheriff's Office had not received any reports of damage at that time.

The second tornado warning was issued in the 1 o'clock hour early Sunday morning for Pottawattamie County. it was allowed to expire shortly after. Radio reports indicated the center of that storm was located just south of Underwood, IA. There was no immediate reports of damage from that storm.

Shelters were set up in Thurman, Iowa, southeast of Omaha off of Interstate 29, for families whose homes are uninhabitable due to storm damage. One injury was reported there.

Nebraska City damage

Several homes and businesses (left) north and northwest of Nebraska City were damaged. It is unclear whether it was from a tornado or straight-line winds.

The Johnson County emergency manager said a tornado took down barns, outbuildings and trees in a path that spans several miles. Clint Strayhorn said he was walking the path of destruction left by the apparent tornado reported about 5:15 p.m. near the Johnson-Nemaha county line. He said he walked two miles and still hadn't reached the end of the storm damage.

Strayhorn said he saw a barn down and has had reports of other barns and outbuildings being destroyed, as well as several downed trees. There's no word yet on injuries.

Nemaha County emergency manager Renee Critser said the twister moved into her county, but she's not heard of any damage.

North Platte tornado

A funnel cloud (left) was spotted in North Platte. Two apparent tornadoes were spotted in south-central Nebraska, but no injuries or damage reported. Mike Moritz of the National Weather Service office in Hastings said the reports came as the same storm moved through Thayer County about 2:15 p.m.

The first, brief tornado was reported five miles southwest of Byron while the second was reported two miles east of Deshler. Mortiz said the second report was made by a storm spotter who believed he saw a rain-wrapped twister based on the debris being kicked up in a field.

Norfolk flooding

Boone County Sheriff David Spiegel said large hail damaged vehicles and shattered windows in and around Petersburg, about 140 miles northwest of Omaha. The Nebraska State Patrol in Norfolk reported hail up to two-feet deep and street flooding from the heavy rain.

About 1,200 MidAmerican Energy customers were without power, including more than 800 customers in Council Bluffs and 400 others in the dark in Des Moines and Sioux City. High winds from the storms toppled at least five semis along Interstate 29.

Severe thunderstorms are still possible into the early morning hours of Sunday. These storms have the potential to produce hail and tornadoes. The Channel 6 Weather Authority will be tracking the threat of severe weather continuously. Expect updates here, on Facebook, Twitter and on WOWT-TV.

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