Storms explode across eastern Nebraska, western Iowa

An explosive line of storms moved across the region Monday night, battering the region with hail, wind and rain. A handful of brief tornado touchdowns were reported.

Hurricane-strength straight-line winds were reported with the storm, downing power lines and tree limbs, and damaging some structures.

At various points Monday evening, the Omaha Public Power District reported about 1,800 customers without power. Early Tuesday, abut 265 customers were still without power in Cass County.

Central Cass County reported widespread wind damage to trees, power lines and some roofs. Among the areas reporting damage to the National Weather Service was the Lake Waconda community, where a number of homes were affected. In the Cedar Creek area, boats became untethered in the lakes there along the Platte River, according to reports to the weather service.

As wind raked across Interstate 29, nine semitrailer trucks were overturned, according to the weather service. Most drivers suffered minor injuries, but two were hurt seriously enough to require an ambulance to a nearby hospital.

Winds in that area reached 70 to 80-plus mph, according to reports to the weather service. The post office in Sidney, Iowa, lost its roof, and strong winds downed tree limbs throughout town, said Mike Crecelius, the emergency management coordinator for Fremont County, Iowa. The town’s mail was being taken to a neighboring community.


Elsewhere, people scrambled for cover when the storms blew in. Campers at Louisville State Recreation Area took shelter in fortified showers.

Multiple tornado warnings were issued Monday afternoon and evening, and touchdowns were reported near Louisville, Cedar Creek, Murray and Table Rock. There did not appear to be significant damage from tornadoes, at least based on initial reports.

Hail the size of golf balls was reported in the Gretna area, and even larger hail was reported in Johnson County, Nebraska. Other areas hit by large hail included Fremont, Millard, South Bend and Elmwood.

After the storms moved out, mammatus clouds in the evening sky put on a stunning display at sunset, lighting up social media with photos.

Other storm notes:

  • Over an inch of rain in Cook
  • A trained weather spotter saw a brief tornado over Table Rock and another saw a funnel cloud near Elk Creek.
  • Tennis ball size hail fell in Tecumseh
  • 70 MPH wind gusts was recorded south of Fairfax, MO.

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