Tornadoes Strike Nebraska and Iowa, Injuring at Least 5

Tornadoes tore through parts of Nebraska and Iowa on Friday, leveling dozens of homes, causing the collapse of an industrial building and injuring at least five people, extending an outbreak of severe weather that started the day before.

A tornado struck parts of Nebraska, including Omaha and Waverly, leading to the collapse of an industrial building, injuring at least three people and prompting a widespread emergency response, officials said.

Images on social media from Iowa also showed widespread damage and leveled buildings in Minden, a city that is a little more than 100 miles west of Des Moines. Gov. Kim Reynolds issued a disaster proclamation for Pottawattamie County, where, the sheriff’s office confirmed, a tornado had swept through.

In Lancaster County, Nebraska, the sheriff’s office responded to an industrial building at Garner Industries around 3 p.m. and found it “pretty much totally collapsed” with several people trapped inside, Chief Deputy Ben Houchin said.

Three people were taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries, he said, adding that roughly 70 people were inside when the tornado struck.

The sheriff’s office also received reports of a derailed train in Waverly, Chief Houchin said, adding, “They didn’t require any emergency assistance, so we’re hoping it’s very minor.”

The National Weather Service also confirmed on social media that a tornado had struck western Omaha.

At least two people suffered minor injuries in the tornado, which “took out a number of houses,” Todd Schmaderer, the Omaha police chief, said at a news conference on Friday evening.

The Omaha Police Department said on social media that emergency personnel were helping those in the path of the tornado and that additional officers were coming to help respond to emergency calls.

Eppley Airfield in Omaha temporarily closed because of the storm, the airport said on social media. It later confirmed that a tornado had touched down there.

Passengers were placed in storm shelters for their safety, the airport said, noting that although the terminal was unaffected, “a number of buildings in the General Aviation area on the east side of airport property sustained damage.”

There were no reports of any injuries, the airport said, though footage on social media showed the airport and planes were damaged.

Melanie Colton, 44, said she was preparing to pick up her children from school when she saw the funnel cloud appear and begin to make its way toward her in-laws’ farm home, just outside Waverly.

“The house is really unlivable,” she said. “A lot of the windows are broken out and there’s a tree through the roof. The two sheds in the back yard are destroyed with debris from the sheds spread out about two miles.”

Ms. Colton’s in-laws, who have lived at the home for 46 years, said that no one was injured, except for the family horse, Shasta, who had to get stitches.

The community has already stepped in and is providing help, as over a dozen neighbors and friends could be seen picking up and moving debris into trash bins.

“We’re really appreciative and grateful for all the manpower we’ve already received to get this house back to livable,” Ms. Colton said.

Numerous homes in Elkhorn, Bennington and Waterloo in western Douglas County in Nebraska were also severely damaged, county officials said. Residents were displaced but no fatalities or serious injuries were reported, officials said.

Stephanie Fisher, the city administrator for Waverly, said there were no reports of injuries or damage within the city.

“I’ve been told that a business outside of the city between Waverly and Lincoln has been hit by the tornado, and there’s a large amount of emergency personnel out there,” she said.

The Bryan Trauma Center at Bryan West Campus treated two patients who were injured in the tornadoes in Lancaster County, said a hospital spokesman, Brad Colee.

A widespread risk of dangerous weather remains possible by Saturday, spreading from Texas to Michigan.

Cities such as Oklahoma City, Kansas City and Dallas could experience severe storms. Hail ranging in size from golf balls to baseballs could fall and damaging winds would be possible.

The threat of severe thunderstorms will continue into Sunday, including areas from southeast Texas to western Illinois.

Storms will be slightly less likely to occur but there will still be some risk of some forming and even producing a couple of tornadoes, and generating quarter-size hail and damaging winds.

Livia Albeck-Ripka contributed reporting.

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