News / USA

Residents of Nebraska Town Return After Deadly Tornado

A Tuesday morning photo shows Larry Nelson, 73, as he surveys what’s left of his home after Monday's tornadoes struck Pilger, Nebraska, June 17, 2014.
A Tuesday morning photo shows Larry Nelson, 73, as he surveys what’s left of his home after Monday's tornadoes struck Pilger, Nebraska, June 17, 2014.
Reuters
Residents who were forced to leave a small town in Nebraska leveled by a tornado that killed a child and injured more than two dozen people began returning on Tuesday to salvage belongings from their battered homes and businesses.
 
The town of Pilger, just several blocks wide and home to about 350 people, took a direct hit on Monday afternoon as large tornadoes swept across a farming area in northeast Nebraska, devastating up to 75 percent of its buildings, officials said.
 
“Pilger is gone,” said Sanford Goshorn, director of emergency management for Stanton County. “The tornado cut right through the center of town.”
 
Preliminary estimates from surveys on Tuesday found several EF-4 damage points in Pilger, the weather service in Omaha said. EF-4, the second most severe rating for a tornado, indicates cyclonic winds of up to 200 mph (320 kph).
 
A five-year-old girl died in a mobile home and a second person died in a traffic crash east of town, Stanton County Sheriff Mike Unger told reporters. More than two dozen people were treated for storm injuries at hospitals, officials said.
 
Pilger, about 100 miles (160 km) northwest of Omaha, was the hardest-hit town in a three-county area. Among the damaged or destroyed buildings were the town hall, fire department, post office, library and school, Unger said.
 
Brian Reeg, who lives in nearby Winside, stood bewildered, looking at a pile of rubble that had been St. John's Lutheran Church in Pilger.
 
“This is where I was baptized, where I was married and went to church my whole life,” Reeg said.
 
Mark Aken, 58, who moved to Pilger three weeks ago, said he did not even have time to unpack at the home he rented near the flattened church.
 
“There's a tree right through my front door,” said Aken, who said he was staying with family in the area for now. “My van is upside down.”
 
Unger said 40 to 50 homes were destroyed or damaged beyond repair when the tornado cut northeast through Pilger. Residents had about 10 minutes to take shelter after warnings sounded, officials said.
 
Storm Threat Moves East
 
Two tornados approach Pilger, Nebraska., June 16, 2014.Two tornados approach Pilger, Nebraska., June 16, 2014.
x
Two tornados approach Pilger, Nebraska., June 16, 2014.
Two tornados approach Pilger, Nebraska., June 16, 2014.

The National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma, reported at least one and possibly two cases in which a pair of large twisters touched down simultaneously, a rare phenomenon according to meteorologists.
 
A threat of severe thunderstorms on Tuesday stretched from eastern Montana as far east and north as New York and Vermont, storm prediction center forecaster Bill Bunting said.
 
Monday's storms spawned preliminary reports of about two dozen tornadoes and wind and hail damage across parts of Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois.
 
Storms damaged two dozen houses in Madison, Wisconsin, and 15 to 30 houses in nearby Verona, along with an elementary school, Dane County Emergency Management said.
 
High winds damaged about a dozen homes in Platteville in southwest Wisconsin and several buildings on the University of Wisconsin-Platteville campus, including its stadium. One person was seriously injured and several other people suffered minor injuries, a city spokeswoman said.

You May Like

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video Survivor Video Testimonies Recount Horrors of Guatemalan Genocide

During a conflict that spanned more than three decades, tens of thousands of indigenous Mayans were killed More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs