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  1. #1
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    More Bad Weather

    http://www.theindependent.com/news/x...Aurora-Kearney

    Storm damage heavy in Aurora, Kearney
    Photos
    Photos

    Scott Kingsley
    Thursday's storm snapped power poles and heavily damaged this home along Highway 14 south of Aurora. Outbuildings on the farm were also damaged.
    More related photos



    By Sarah Schulz
    The Grand Island Independent
    Posted May 29, 2008 @ 11:00 PM
    GRAND ISLAND —
    Several businesses sustained severe damage and at least one house was heavily damaged Thursday night when a tornado struck the southern outskirts of Aurora.

    The tornado was among several reported in Nebraska as a storm system carrying rain, hail and strong winds moved through the state. Tornadoes were also reported in Kearney, where 90 rail cars were derailed between Kearney and Odessa.

    There was no immediate report of injuries.

    Gov. Dave Heineman declared a state of emergency Thursday night, allowing access to state and federal resources for storm cleanup. He readied the Nebraska National Guard in case its help was needed.

    "We won't know the full extent of the damage until tomorrow. However, it appears that Kearney was hardest hit and that is where our assistance will be focused overnight," Heineman said late Thursday.

    Initial reports from the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency indicated several dozen homes were damaged in both Aurora and Kearney. Heineman planned to travel to those areas Friday.

    State officials closed down Interstate 80 from Giltner to York just before 8 p.m. because of downed power lines and several semis that had been blown off of the roadway. The traffic was diverted onto Highway 34, contributing to traffic backups on Highway 14 in Aurora.

    According to scanner traffic, a number of accidents were reported on highways around Aurora.

    An awning covering fuel pumps at Love's Travel Stop at the Aurora/Interstate 80 interchange was heavily damaged and there was a power line on top of a semi truck south of the business on Highway 14.

    Also on Highway 14, a storage unit housing classic cars was damaged and a feedlot on the west side of the highway had twisted grain bins and bent pivots. A home on the east side of the highway was also destroyed.

    The Shell service station on the north side of the interstate exit lost its roof as well.

    A call to the Hamilton County Sheriff's Department to inquire about further damage was directed to the mayor's office, where no one answered the phone Thursday night.

    There were reports of downed trees and power lines throughout Kearney, as well as reports of damage on the University of Nebraska at Kearney campus and the Expo Center at the fairgrounds was destroyed.

    The Stratford Apartments on 39th Street in northwest Kearney sustained heavy damage. At least one of the buildings lost its roof and several cars in the parking lot were damaged.

    The Buffalo County emergency manager asked all Kearney residents to remain at home Thursday evening. Travel was discouraged because of storm damage in parts of the city.

    Nebraska Public Power District spokesman Mark Becker said 12,000 customers were without power in Kearney Thursday evening.

    Numerous power lines were down in the northwest, northeast and southeast parts of Kearney, and would remain so until a second wave of storms passed. Crews were on standby, "waiting for little safer conditions," Becker said.

    Power was also out in parts of Hamilton County, according to LeAnne Doose, communications director for SPPD.

    Two miles of transmission lines near Hampton were down and about 1,000 people throughout Hamilton County were without power. Crews were working Thursday night to reroute lines, but some homes would most likely remain without power overnight, she said. In part of the county, a transmission wire owned by NPPD had fallen on top of wires owned by SPPD, she said.

    "We're doing what we can," Doose said.

    According to NOAA's National Weather Service radio transmissions, people in Hamilton County were also encouraged to stay home Thursday night to avoid downed power lines.

    In the Grand Island area, people sought cover as the sirens sounded just after 6 p.m. Scanner traffic indicated numerous reports of rotation in the clouds and small hail near Wood River, Doniphan, and the outskirts of Grand Island.

    Spotters reported possible tornadoes near the power plant on South Locust, Stolley Park Road and 110th, near H&H Distributing on Highway 281, and Highway 11 and Husker Highway. No confirmations of tornadoes was available Thursday night. A tornado warning was in effect from about 6 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. in Hall County.

    A barn, grain silo and outbuilding at 3467 Highway 11, which is at the corner of Highway 11 and Husker Highway, were damaged by Thursday night's storm. East of the home, irrigation pipe and pieces of the silo were spread into a field, which was also filled with water.

    In the city, strong winds blew two trampolines out of the yards along West State Street.

    Angi Wiegert returned to her home at 3007 W. State St. after the storm to find a trampoline on her roof. It belonged to the family four doors down. Another neighbor had a trampoline blown into their yard, she said.

    "It was quite funny," she said of the sight that attracted passersby with cameras.

    Heavy rain was reported throughout Grand Island, leaving several streets throughout the city flooded. Flash flood warnings were in effect for Hall County Thursday night and both the Platte River and the Wood River were nearing their banks.


    CFH HMagic bball season next year.
    Let my Fred's Four Horsemen ride: Georges, Hogue, Nader, and McKay.

  2. #2
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    Re: More Bad Weather

    This winter was bad enough...looks like the summer storms could be even worse though.



  3. #3
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    Re: More Bad Weather

    CFH HMagic bball season next year.
    Let my Fred's Four Horsemen ride: Georges, Hogue, Nader, and McKay.

  4. #4
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    Re: More Bad Weather

    North Platte Telegraph > News

    Tornadoes hit Kearney hard


    Kelly Barnes looks over his car and motorcycle damaged from one of the four to six tornados that hit Kearney May 29.





    By Judith Nygren, Maggie O'Brien and David Hendee

    Published: Friday, May 30, 2008 4:32 AM CDT
    Midlands News Service

    KEARNEY - Tornadoes exploded over central Nebraska late Thursday afternoon, causing extensive damage in Kearney.

    The storms destroyed the sprawling Expo Building at the Buffalo County Fairgrounds, home of rodeos and demolition derbies. Copeland Hall at the University of Nebraska at Kearney lost its roof.

    At least 50 to 60 houses were reported damaged and more reports were pouring in.


    There were no immediate reports of serious injuries, authorities said.

    Much of Kearney, with a population of nearly 30,000, was without electricity. More than 1,400 customers in Aurora and York also were in the dark. Interstate 80 between Aurora and York was closed Thursday evening due to downed power lines.

    Several cars from a Union Pacific train derailed.

    Gov. Dave Heineman declared a state of emergency. He plans to visit Kearney in a National Guard helicopter this morning.

    Later storms also hit western Iowa, where a Monona County sheriff's deputy spotted a tornado that touched down briefly about a mile east of Turin, Iowa, about 7:15 p.m.

    Dave Roseberry, manager of the Kearney fairgrounds, said the Expo Building was destroyed.

    "It's completely gone," he said.

    Adam Eickman and fiancee Stacy Ostdiek, both 25, said they watched from the basement of a neighbor's residence as the tornado flattened their small apartment building.

    "I'll never forget that sound, you could hear it doing all kinds of damage," Eickman said. "It was scary and I'm still shaken. Everything is a blur right now."

    Ostdiek said debris swirled everywhere.

    "We heard the windows shattering in the basement apartment and that's when we knew it wasn't going to be good," he said.

    Kelly Barnes watched from his basement apartment as a car parked next to his spun around and landed on his Buick.

    "The wind hit suddenly and then it was all over," he said. "It only lasted eight to 10 seconds, but that's all it took to destroy everything. Everything just turned black. Sand and dirt were flying everywhere. It was very eerie."

    Carroll Sheldon, who lives on a hill in northeast Kearney, watched from the deck on his house as the storm gathered about 15 miles southwest of town. He saw four or five funnel clouds form.

    The funnels "formed and formed, and then they sort of blended together when they came toward town. Then the wind and rain hit and you couldn't see anything," Sheldon said.

    He estimated winds at 100 mph.

    Several semi-trailer trucks overturned on I-80.

    Mark Becker, a Nebraska Public Power District spokesman, said a power line wrapped around a toppled semi. Officials told the driver to stay inside the truck until the line could be de-energized.

    Darren Lewis, the emergency management director for Buffalo County, said the northeast area of Kearney appeared to sustain the most damage. The UNK campus is in west Kearney.

    Laura Larsen, 22, who recently graduated from UNK and lives nearby, said the roof was missing from a building in the Stratford apartments in the northeast part of town. The clubhouse roof collapsed, and cars were piled on one another in the parking lot.

    At the fairgrounds, Roseberry and co-worker Marc Zelzany were inside the Expo Building when the storm demolished it. Neither man was hurt.

    Wind took Roseberry's pickup and threw it into the building. "A corner of the building is laying on the truck now," he said.

    Tornado researchers expect the 2008 tornado season to join 1998, 1974 and 1953 as among the busiest and deadliest years the country has seen.

    The number of tornadoes so far in 2008 - 1,191 - is nearly double what it was for the same period in 2007, said Harold Brooks, a researcher with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Severe Storms Laboratory in Norman, Okla.

    At this time in 2007, 659 tornadoes had been reported. In the past 10 years, the average number of tornadoes has been 1,254.

    Tornadoes in 2008 also have proved to be deadlier than those in previous years - 111 people already had died this year from U.S. tornadoes as of Sunday. By the end of May 2007, 74 people had been killed by U.S. tornadoes.

    World-Herald staff writers Andrew J. Nelson, David Hendee, Jason Kuiper, Stu Pospisil and Leslie Reed and Kearney Hub writers Mike Konz and Todd Gottula contributed to this report.


    CFH HMagic bball season next year.
    Let my Fred's Four Horsemen ride: Georges, Hogue, Nader, and McKay.

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