Tornadoes, hail and heavy rain were reported in storms that moved along the Nebraska-Kansas border in the late afternoon hours of Labor Day. Two spotter reports to the National Weather Service described rope tornadoes near Reynolds and south of Fairbury, according to John McKee, the Jefferson County Emergency Management Coordinator.
“If we did have any touchdowns from those ropes, they were probably in remote areas,” McKee says. “There’s one home that had some siding damage and a broken window or two just from the hail.”
McKee says the late afternoon storms caused some isolated power outages in the southern half of the county.
“It wasn’t big sections down, it was just individual areas and trees coming down and individual homes,” he says.”
Southeast Nebraska was under a Flash Flood Watch beginning at seven o’clock on Monday night and that watch was to extend through this (Tuesday) morning. McKee says there were some reports of heavy rain falling in Jefferson County in a short period of time, including one report from the Fairbury area of one inch of rain in 20 minutes.
“It was very welcome for our area and hopefully we’ll see some more because we had cracks all over the ground from two to three inches wide and some of them, you can drop a yard stick into and not have it hit bottom,” McKee says.
Weather spotters reported hail from Monday’s storms in both Nebraska and Kansas as large as tennis balls. A rope tornado was also reported by a weather spotter four miles southwest of Barneston and a tornado report was received from three miles north of Steele City, in Jefferson County.
Severe weather knocked out power in some communities of Saline County last night. Emergency Management Coordinator B.J. Fictum says the communities of Dewitt, Western, Swanton and surrounding rural areas were without electricity following strong storms. Norris Public Power District crews had power restored in the town of Swanton, by 9:30 PM Monday.
Fictum says the main damage consisted of high winds knocking down tree branches. Wilber received 1.75 inches of rain, while areas around Swanton and Friend received a half-inch of rain or less. Dime to nickel-sized hail fell briefly, in Wilber.
Sunday night, areas around Lincoln and east of the capital city received hail and heavy rain from severe thunderstorms. The National Weather Service reports 5.82 inches of rain fell just southwest of Eagle, while 4.1 inches of rain fell about 8-and-a-half miles northeast of Lincoln. Between 3 and 4 inches of rain was reported by several spotters, east and southeast of Lincoln.
By Doug Kennedy, KWBE, Beatrice