On Monday, twin tornadoes ripped across farmland in east Nebraska, leveling the small town of Pilger, injuring dozens and killing one.
At least 16 of those hurt in the rare weather phenomenon were injured critically. About 350 people — all residents of Pilger — evacuated their homes as the twin twisters demolished their town.
“More than half of the town is gone – absolutely gone,” Stanton County Commissioner Jerry Weatherholt said. “The co-op is gone, the grain bins are gone, and it looks like almost every house in town has some damage. It’s a complete mess.”
Emergency crews and residents spent the evening sifting through demolished homes and businesses in the town about 80 miles northwest of Omaha.
Stanton County Sheriff Mike Unger estimated that 50 to 75 percent of Pilger was heavily damaged or destroyed in the storm. The local school is likely beyond repair, he said.
“It’s total devastation,” Unger said.
On Monday, across the region, there were 30 reports of tornadoes, the Storm Prediction Center reported. Officials expect to see more severe weather on Tuesday, however, the threat isn’t nearly as high as it was Monday.
Witnesses of Monday’s rash of tornadoes took to Twitter to document the damage:
— Matt Coker (@StormCoker) June 16, 2014
— ⛅ CloudSpotter.net (@SpireWeather) June 17, 2014
— TWC Breaking (@TWCBreaking) June 16, 2014
Our thoughts and prayers are with the town of Pilger at this time.
SOURCE: USA Today, Twitter | VIDEO SOURCE: News Inc.