‘Like a freight train’: Videos show widespread destruction as tornadoes ravage Nebraska and Iowa, more storms pose perilous threats

News & Politics

Parts of Nebraska and Iowa were ravaged by powerful tornadoes on Friday. Weather experts predict that new storms could bring even more destruction to the Midwest region.

Hundreds of homes and businesses were damaged or destroyed by the ferocity of the storm’s fury, especially in a suburb of Omaha, Nebraska.

On Saturday, residents of Elkhorn were sifting through the rubble after a tornado decimated the area.

“We watched it touch down like 200 yards over there and then we took shelter,” said Pat Woods – who lives in Elkhorn. “We could hear it coming through. When we came up, our fence was gone and we looked to the northwest and the whole neighborhood’s gone.”

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Kim Woods, Pat’s wife, added, “The whole neighborhood just to the north of us is pretty flattened.”

Jason Sunday – a resident of Elkhorn in Omaha – told KETV, “We saw it coming from the southwest, and when it got too close for comfort, we headed downstairs quickly. We were in the downstairs bathtub, and it was just like the movie said, it was like a freight train.”

Three people were hurt with non-life-threatening injuries when a tornado caused an industrial building to collapse in Nebraska’s Lancaster County. There were 70 people inside, but they were able to be evacuated.

Omaha police Lt. Neal Bonacci said and police and firefighters were going door-to-door to help residents.

Nebraska Gov. Jim Pillen toured the area worst affected by the tornadoes in his state.

Pillen said on the X social media platform:

Suzanne and I extend our deepest prayers to all those impacted by today’s storms. I have ordered that state resources be made available to assist with the emergency response and to support local first responders as they assess the damage. Nebraskans are tough, resilient people, and our neighbors and communities will rally around affected families and businesses to assist them. Nebraskans are no strangers to severe weather and, as they have countless times before, Nebraskans will help Nebraskans to rebuild.

In Iowa, the small towns of Minden and Harlan were some of the hardest hit by the destructive tornadoes.

There were nearly 80 reports of tornadoes on Friday across five states that were corroborated by weather service data and storm chaser recordings.

There have been several reports of injuries but thankfully no fatalities have been reported.

More updates on the severe weather in the Midwest:

  • Four people in Iowa’s Pottawattamie County suffered storm-related injuries and needed medical attention, according to county emergency management officials.
  • Pottawattamie County, home to approximately 90,000 residents, witnessed damage to roughly 120 homes and businesses, with varying degrees of destruction reported, emergency officials stated.
  • In Omaha, two individuals received minor injuries following a tornado in the Elkhorn area on Friday. Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer credited the city and county’s effective warning systems for mitigating further casualties, stressing the the benefits of early alerts.
  • Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds issued a disaster proclamation to aid storm recovery efforts in Pottawattamie County following the tornado that ravaged Minden.
  • Emergency responders in Nebraska’s Shelby and Douglas counties reported significant property damage from multiple tornadoes on Friday. Residents were forced to evacuate due to the storm’s devastation.
  • Texas witnessed at least two tornadoes on Friday afternoon, as captured in social media footage.

Threats of severe weather – including damaging winds, possible flooding, and large hail – are in play for Nebraska, Texas, Oklahoma, and Iowa on Saturday and Sunday.

More than 50 million people are under the threat of severe weather on Saturday.

Approximately 18 million people across Nebraska, Iowa, and Texas, are under flood watches until Sunday afternoon, according to the National Weather Service

There were tornado warnings issued for the Midwest.

A tornado watch has been issued for parts of Kansas and Nebraska until 7 p.m. CDT.

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More than a dozen tornadoes touch down across Texas, Oklahoma and Nebraskawww.youtube.com

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