At least two people died, including a 5-year-old child, and 16 were critically injured when two Nebraska tornadoes appeared simultaneously and then touched down a mile apart yesterday afternoon, destroying nearly the entire town.
Emergency crews and residents spent the evening sorting through demolished homes and businesses in the town of about 350, roughly 100 miles northwest of Omaha.
“More than half of the town is gone — absolutely gone,” Stanton County Commissioner Jerry Weatherholt told The Associated Press. “The co-op is gone, the grain bins are gone, and it looks like almost every house in town has some damage. It’s a complete mess.”
Families with no other place to go made their way to a shelter at Wisner-Pilger Jr.-Sr. High School in nearby Wisner. The shelter will offer food, water, showers and cots.
The Norfolk Daily News reported that rescuers were house to house, calling out “Hello? Hello? Anybody?” and spray-painted “OK” in huge letters on home that had been cleared.
Forecasters are warning of more bad weather today in an area from eastern Montana to New York.
The Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma, said powerful winds, large hail and a few tornadoes are possible. Iowa, Wisconsin and northern Illinois are at most risk.