Officials now say the damage from Monday night’s severe storms in southeast Nebraska was caused by at least one tornado — and likely two twisters.
Mark Meints, emergency management coordinator for Gage County, says they did a careful survey of the damage with a team from the National Weather Service Office in Valley.
“After looking at the damage north of Diller, following the trail, the tail end of the tornado ended along Highway 77 just south of Beatrice, they’ve determined it definitely was tornadic activity at the level of an EF-2, which is winds up to 120 miles an hour.”
By comparison, the massive tornado that caused so many deaths in Oklahoma earlier this month was an EF-5.
Meints says the tornado moved east from Jefferson County into Gage County and there was significant damage.
“Brand new grain bins south of Ellis, about $200,000 worth of damage there on those three grain bins,” he says. “We saw a lot of trailers tipped over, irrigation pipe pivots, some building damage south of Beatrice, a lot of tree damage and of course, trees fell on the houses, shingles and things like that.”
An outbuilding was demolished near Harbine that contained several pieces of farm equipment — and damage to that one structure and contents may exceed a million dollars.
By Doug Kennedy, KWBE, Beatrice