Tornadoes Sweep Through Nebraska and Iowa, Leveling Buildings (2024)



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Storms destroyed homes and injured several people in Iowa and Nebraska, including in Omaha. A tornado also hit near Des Moines.

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Tornado Strikes Parts of Nebraska

Funnel clouds and strong winds were captured on video as at least one tornado struck parts of Nebraska on Friday, officials said.

“Got a video of it.” “That tornado is coming toward us.” “Yes.”

Tornadoes Sweep Through Nebraska and Iowa, Leveling Buildings (1)

By Aimee Ortiz,Judson Jones,Lauryn Higgins and John Yoon

Judson Jones is a meteorologist and reporter for The Times. Lauryn Higgins reported from Nebraska.

Tornadoes tore through parts of Nebraska and Iowa on Friday, leveling dozens of homes, causing the collapse of an industrial building and injuring at least nine people, extending an outbreak of severe weather that started the day before.

In Nebraska, tornadoes struck several places, including Waverly and Lincoln, where an industrial building was destroyed, injuring at least three people, officials said. In western Omaha, two people were hospitalized and hundreds of homes were damaged, the police said.

In Iowa, a tornado hit Minden, about 100 miles west of Des Moines, destroying dozens of homes, said officials in Pottawattamie County, where at least four people were injured. Gov. Kim Reynolds issued a disaster proclamation for the county. Meteorologists also confirmed a tornado east of Des Moines, near Pleasant Hill.

The National Weather Service said that it had received more than 95 reports of tornadoes in at least five states in the Great Plains on Friday.

In Minden, the tornado left half the town “damaged badly,” with about 40 to 50 homes destroyed, said Jeff Theulen, the chief deputy with the Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office. Across the county, about 120 homes and businesses were damaged, the county Emergency Management Agency said early Saturday.

“There were several gas leaks, wires down, a lot of debris,” Deputy Theulen said. “So it’s a very dangerous area right now.”

In Lancaster County, Neb., the sheriff’s office responded to an industrial building at Garner Industries and found it “pretty much totally collapsed” with several people trapped inside, Chief Deputy Ben Houchin said. Three people were taken to a hospital with minor injuries, he said, adding that roughly 70 people were inside when the tornado struck.

The sheriff’s office also received reports of a derailed train in Waverly, he said, adding, “They didn’t require any emergency assistance, so we’re hoping it’s very minor.”

In western Omaha, a tornado “took out a number of houses,” Todd Schmaderer, the Omaha police chief, said at a news conference on Friday. Two people there were hospitalized with minor injuries, said Lt. Neal Bonacci of the city’s police.

Tornadoes in the Midwest

Locations of tornado sightings or damage reported by trained spotters.

Eppley Airfield in Omaha temporarily closed because of the storm, the airport said on social media. It later confirmed that a tornado had touched down there.

Passengers were taken to storm shelters, the airport said, noting that although the terminal was unaffected, “a number of buildings in the General Aviation area on the east side of airport property sustained damage.”

There were no reports of any injuries, the airport said, though footage on social media showed the airport and planes were damaged.

Melanie Colton, 44, said she was preparing to pick up her children from school when she saw the funnel cloud appear and begin to make its way toward her in-laws’ farm home, just outside Waverly.

“The house is really unlivable,” she said. “A lot of the windows are broken out, and there’s a tree through the roof. The two sheds in the backyard are destroyed, with debris from the sheds spread out about two miles.”

Ms. Colton’s in-laws, who have lived in the home for 46 years, said that no one was injured, except for the family horse, Shasta, who had to get stitches.

Numerous homes in Elkhorn, Bennington and Waterloo in western Douglas County in Nebraska were also severely damaged, county officials said. Residents were displaced but no fatalities or serious injuries were reported, officials said. The tornado damage also exposed power lines and severed gas lines, they said, warning people to avoid the affected areas.


Tornadoes Sweep Through Nebraska and Iowa, Leveling Buildings (2)

More severe weather is expected on Saturday

Forecast risk of severe weather for Saturday





Get notified about extreme weather risks in places you choose »

Source: National Weather ServiceNotes: This map indicates risk in up to three tiers: Some, there is at least some chance of extreme weather in the area; Moderate, it is likely that damaging weather will happen in the area; and High, extreme, dangerous weather is expected in the area. Data is as of [DATETIME] and is not available for Alaska and Hawaii.By The New York Times

A widespread risk of dangerous weather remains possible on Saturday, extending from Texas to the northeast Great Lakes. Severe thunderstorms are expected over swaths of Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas and Missouri, according to the National Weather Service.

More strong tornadoes are expected to form on Saturday in those areas, along with winds of more than 70 miles per hour.

Hail ranging in size from golf balls to baseballs could pelt widespread areas. And heavy rainfall could also prompt flash flooding, the Weather Service warned, some of which could be “significant in nature.”

The risk continues Sunday

The threat of severe thunderstorms will continue into Sunday, including areas from southeast Texas to western Illinois.

Storms will be slightly less likely to occur, but there will still be some risk of storms forming that could even produce a couple of tornadoes, while possibly generating quarter-size hail and damaging winds.

Livia Albeck-Ripka and Isabella Kwai contributed reporting.

Aimee Ortiz covers breaking news and other topics. More about Aimee Ortiz

Judson Jones is a meteorologist and reporter for The Times who forecasts and covers extreme weather. More about Judson Jones

John Yoon is a Times reporter based in Seoul who covers breaking and trending news. More about John Yoon



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