Tornadoes Tear Through the Heartland Friday

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30 Apr 2024 1:35 PM

Several teams of meteorologists and storm damage experts are actively investigating and surveying damage from Friday, April 26 across the I-80 corridor. According to the National Weather Service of Omaha, at least 5 EF-3 tornadoes have been confirmed.

It all started when a tornado touched down in Lincoln, NE, just before 3 PM central time on Friday. This storm was tornado-warned for more than 50 miles as it tore through suburbs of the Omaha metro and eventually moved across the Missouri River and into Iowa. It has been confirmed as an EF-3 on the ground for 8.6 miles and with winds of 158 mph. This tornado struck Waverly, NE, a suburb on the NE side of Lincoln, where it derailed a train.

An EF-3 tornado was confirmed in Elkhorn, NE on the west side of Omaha. Winds were at 165 mph with this tornado. After the tornado moved through, our field crews observed high-tension power lines snapped in Elkhorn, NE, outside of Omaha.

There was a "tornado emergency" issued for the northern suburbs of Omaha, NE, at around 3:45 PM CT Friday as a result of the Elkhorn tornado storm cell. This is the highest level of tornado warning the National Weather Service can issue and signals that there is a confirmed tornado on the ground and an extremely dangerous situation unfolding. A traffic camera in the Omaha area caught the tornado. Another tornado warning was issued for Omaha, including downtown, and damage was confirmed in the region. Additional surveys will be conducted to determine the strength of tornadoes in Omaha.

Not only were there confirmed tornadoes in Nebraska, but numerous tornadoes also struck Iowa, impacting western and Central Iowa. There were 6 EF-2 tornadoes with winds of 111-135 mph and 2 EF-1 tornadoes.

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