Tornado Wrecks Farm Homes, Injures Several People In Nebraska

Saturday, April 21st 2007, 4:31 pm
By: News On 6

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) _ A possible tornado ripped up farmsteads in western Nebraska and injured several people as thunderstorms rippled across the Plains.

National Weather Service survey teams went to the area Saturday to confirm that the damage was caused by a tornado and estimate its strength.

The twister that struck late Friday spread debris along a path that was up to a half-mile wide in places, the Frontier County sheriff's office said.

In neighboring Dawson County, it followed a course about 20 miles long and probably came within a mile of Gothenburg, a city of about 4,000, said weather service meteorologist Scott Bryant in Hastings.

The violent weather destroyed a farm house about 20 miles east of Wellfleet, and damaged others in Frontier County and east of Moorefield, authorities said.

``At the farmstead I'm sitting at right now the roof of the newly constructed building is gone,'' Dawson County emergency management director Brian Woldt said Saturday. ``I have power lines scattered and power poles snapped in some areas.''

Several vehicles were blown off Interstate 80 just west of Gothenburg, likely by straight-line wind, said Bryant.

John Johnson, chief executive officer at Gothenburg Memorial Hospital, said nine people injured in collisions or when their vehicles were blown over were brought to his emergency room. One was taken to a trauma center in Kearney and the others were treated and released.