Weather service confirms powerful tornado in Neb.

AP News
Posted: Jun 21, 2011 6:35 PM
Weather service confirms powerful tornado in Neb.

At least one powerful tornado ripped through central Nebraska on Monday night, destroying a home but sparing rural residents, the National Weather Service in Hastings said.

The EF3 tornado hit a rural area just north of Amherst _ about 15 miles southeast of Kearney _ flattening a home, meteorologist Ryan Pfannkuch said.

"I understand the family who lived in the house were vacationing down in Florida at the time," Pfannkuch said.

No other injuries have been reported from the storms that raked much of the eastern half of Nebraska on Monday night, he said. An EF3 tornado has winds ranging up to 165 mph.

"It sounds like we were very fortunate," Pfannkuch said.

Monday night's storms caused heavy rains, lightening and gale-force winds in Omaha, forcing suspension of play at the College World Series.

Elsewhere, the Weather Serviced also had photos of another weaker tornado near Elm Creek, about 10 miles southwest of the Amherst tornado, that overturned irrigation pivots, downed power lines and damaged trees.

In nearby York County, tornado damage also was reported in the Bradshaw area, where a train was derailed.

Other tornadoes are likely to be confirmed by teams out in the field studying the damage in central Nebraska, Pfannkuch said.

To the east, a three-block-wide path through the city of Fremont was littered with twisted trees, mangled power lines and shredded rooftops on Monday. Witnesses reported it was a tornado that caused the mess, the Fremont Tribune reported.

The National Weather Service in Valley, just west of Omaha, said teams are investigating whether it was a tornado that hit the city of about 25,000 on Monday, but said no confirmation had been made by late Tuesday afternoon.