A deadly super-cell thunderstorm system bringing a swarm of tornadoes has ripped through towns and villages in northeast Nebraska, killing a five-year-old and a motorist and injuring dozens of others.
Storm chasers captured chilling images of rare twin tornadoes in the backdrop of Pilger, Nebraska, where police say as much as 75 percent of the town was either heavily damaged or destroyed. Overnight in Madison, Wisconsin, a possible tornado left home and schools damaged.
A state of emergency has been declared by Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman, as officials announced that the small town of Pilger, 60 miles southwest of Sioux City, Iowa, was simply “gone” in the wake of the storm. The town was evacuated for the night, and residents were bused to a local Red Cross Shelter in nearby Wisner, Omaha.com reported.
“More than half of the town is gone- absolutely gone,” Stanton County Commissioner jerry Weatherholt told the AP. “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.”
Emergency management operations officer Earl Imler told CNN late Monday that Nebraska is still in response mode, collecting damage reports from local officials. But they won’t know the intensity of the storms until late Tuesday at the earliest, after crews have examined the area, Barbara Mayes, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, told the AP.
The National Weather Service said the twisters touched down within roughly a mile of each other, and that it was extremely rare for two such powerful tornadoes to hit at the same time and place.
Experts said they appeared to be class EF-2 or EF-3, meaning they brought winds of up to 165 mph.
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