Nebraska cleans up after tornadoes injure two

Reuters News
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Posted: Mar 19, 2012 10:58 AM
Nebraska cleans up after tornadoes injure two

(Reuters) - A pair of tornadoes destroyed homes, toppled train cars and downed power lines in central Nebraska, injuring two people, authorities said on Monday.

One person had to be extricated from a collapsed home near North Platte late on Sunday, and a truck driver whose rig was swept off a highway was also taken to the hospital. Neither suffered life-threatening injuries, said Al Berndt of Nebraska's emergency management agency.

"There were two tornadoes sighted south and west of North Platte in a sparsely populated area," Berndt said. "Two or three homes were destroyed, and several others damaged."

Some 15 rail cars were knocked over by a twister in Union Pacific's huge Bailey Yard, where the railroad assembles freight trains. Berndt said none carried hazardous materials.

Downed power lines and other debris closed several roads in the area, making travel dangerous, and crews headed out on Monday to survey the damage, Berndt said.

Record-breaking high temperatures east of the Rocky Mountains for the past several days have created summer-like heat, and brought blustery winds to the region, Berndt said. Storms have raised the risk of severe weather.

(Reporting By Andrew Stern; Editing by Greg McCune)