Lincoln Journal Star from Lincoln, Nebraska on June 18, 2014 · A7
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Lincoln Journal Star from Lincoln, Nebraska · A7

Lincoln, Nebraska
Issue Date:
Wednesday, June 18, 2014
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C M Y K LJS_STAR-2014-6-18-A7_02 ••• Lincoln Journal Star Wednesday, June 18, 2014 A7TORNADO COVERAGE You Save $100 You Save $200 *“...We’re still working on the 10th one!” Jeff White, Pres. WATER SOFTENERS | DRINKING SYSTEMS | SALT 9 Out Of 10 People Who Talk To Us, Choose Aqua Systems...* Shop and compare at 402-466-6800 Lincoln $1,299 Smart ChoiceTM Gen 1 Softener *Aqua Systems pre-plumb or replacement installations. Expires 06/30/14. $1,499 High-Efficiency Smart Choice Gen II *Aqua Systems pre-plumb or replacement installations. Expires 06/30/14. $499 Series 3000 Water Softener *Does not include installation. 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MITCH SCHWEERS/The Associated Press This photo taken Monday from atop the Wisner grain elevator shows a tornado approaching Pilger. A storm packing rare dual tornadoes tore through northeast Nebraska, crumpling grain bins and flattening dozens of homes. Elkhorn River Stanton Pilger Wisner Wayne Norfolk Beemer 32 24 57 15 81 275 35 98 Pierce Wakefield 35 Winside Elkhorn River 1 2 3 81 16 9 275 51 West Point Pender Emerson Paths of damage At least four tornadoes were spawned from Monday’s storm cell that moved through northeast Nebraska. The National Weather Service released early preliminary fi ndings on three twisters. PATH ONE: A tornado touched down southeast of Norfolk around 3:45 p.m. and traveled roughly 15 miles, crossing U.S. 275. PATH TWO: A tornado touched down east of Stanton, moving northeast and resulting in a direct hit on Pilger. PATH THREE: A tornado touched down south of Pilger, moving northeast and eventually crossing U.S. 275. OF NOTE: As of Tuesday evening, the National Weather Service was trying to determine where two of the tornadoes merged. ... Damage from possible tornadoes was reported just south of Wakefi eld. Source: National Weather Service CLARK GRELL/Lincoln Journal Star Pilger tornado was EF4 ‘monster’ How to help Beginning at 7 a.m. Wednesday, volunteers who want to help residents of Pilger should check in with a valid photo I.D. at the Wisner-Pilger High School in Wisner, 801 18th St. (west edge of town). They will be bused to Pilger, where the main duty will be debris removal. Volunteers should not go directly to Pilger. They need to bring their own work gloves, wear long sleeves, long pants and work boots. The Salvation Army will provide lunch. The Nebraska Emergency Management Agency said donations of items are not needed now because resi- dents don’t have anywhere to put them. Financial dona- tions will be more useful, said spokeswoman Jodie Fawl. Here’s two ways to help: A fund has been established at Midwest Bank. Donations can be mailed to: Pilger Community Develop- ment Fund, c/o Midwest Bank, P.O. Box 346, Pilger, NE 68768, or dropped off at any Midwest Bank location, including 2655 Jamie Lane in Lincoln. Visit, call 1-800-RED CROSS or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Performance Toyota and the Salvation Army in Lin- coln are teaming up to collect water, sports drinks and non-perishable snack foods for Pilger storm victims and volunteers. Items may be dropped off at Performance Auto, 6320 Telluride Drive. The Salvation Army plans to make daily trips to Pilger to deliver donated items. Get in the game with the #1 source for official Husker apparel. BLACK is the newRED He got up and went outside to his garage and looked south from Pender at a tornado, a mile and a half wide, barreling directly toward him, it seemed. Dennis didn’t say anything, at least he couldn’t recall saying anything later Monday night. He just watched with his wife as the monster got closer. “We should go inside,” said his wife, Deb. Finally, when it was a block away, they ran inside to the bathroom. One minute and two giant thumps later, it was over. Their place survived. Couple survives in shelter Trey Wisniewski and his wife are among residents of Pilger who emerged from their shelters on Monday to fi nd their town turned into a sea of debris. Wisniewski says he woke up when the weather radio went off, about 15 minutes before the tornadoes hit Monday afternoon. When the power went out and storm sirens wailed, he and his wife scurried to the base- ment with their pets. The storm ripped up their house around them and left them in the basement dodging fl ying objects. Wisniewski says “it was raining debris.” The Wisniewskis say they’re not sure yet if they will rebuild. Surveying damage Larry Nelson, 73, has been surveying the wreckage that used to be his home on the southwest edge of Pilger. He lived alone in his small house, which was stripped down to its cinderblock foundation. He survived the storm in a neighbor’s base- ment because his house had only a crawl space. Nelson said “it’s amazing what a tornado will do,” not- ing that his neighbor’s house had branches stuck into a side. He said he’ll spend sev- eral days with his daughter in Norfolk and wait to hear from his insurance company before deciding whether to rebuild his home. He’d lived there for 23 years. Wisner Post Office serving Pilger Pilger residents can pick up their mail at the Wisner Post Offi ce, 1120 Ave. E, offi cials said. Wisner Post Of- fi ce’s hours of operation have been temporarily extended: Monday-Friday from 8:45–11:30 a.m., and noon to 5 p.m. Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon. Customers are reminded to bring photo identifi cation when picking up their mail. The Pilger Post Offi ce provides mail service for 186 customers through Post Offi ce boxes, and rural deliveries. Debris lines the streets near down- town Pil- ger on Tues- day. GWYNETH ROBERTS/ Lincoln Journal Star Storm notes Continued from A6 From staff and wire reports The National Weather Service said the storm that struck northeast Nebraska on Monday produced at least four tornadoes, but it was the rare sight of twin twisters — tornadoes trav- eling together in the same thunderstorm — that had weather experts buzzing. A preliminary review of storm damage on Tues- day confirmed that as one tornado hit Pilger, another developed two miles south- east of town. They traveled together, a mile or more apart, before the two twist- ers merged, said Van De- Wald, lead meteorologist for the National Weather Ser- vice in Valley. Two crews from the weather service were out Tuesday reviewing the area to try to measure each tornado’s strength. Early estimates in- dicated damage in Pilger re- lated to an EF4 tornado. The EF, or Enhanced Fujita, scale rates the strength of tor- nadoes from zero (weakest) to five (strongest). An EF4 includes winds estimated between 166 and 200 mph. While several severe thunderstorms capable of producing tornadoes can coexist over a general area, the strongest and longest- lived tornadoes tend to form in severe thunderstorms that are isolated from each other, experts with Accuweather said Tuesday. The thunderstorm that formed during the late af- ternoon hours Monday and spawned the four tornadoes was virtually alone in the eastern half of the state. “The Pilger storm essentially had the entire unstable atmosphere to tap into and grow into a mon- ster,” Henry Margusity, Ac- cuWeather’s severe weather expert, said. The weather service is- sued a tornado watch at 3:05 p.m. on Monday, and the first tornado warning was issued at 3:41 p.m. DeWald said the first tor- nado touched down in rural Stanton County, southwest of Stanton, and was on the ground for roughly 15 miles. Early estimates indicate damage at EF3 levels west and north of Stanton. Pilger was hit at 4:18 p.m., and soon after storm spot- ters were feeding live video of the tornadoes to web sites and The Weather Channel. Powerful twin tornadoes are extremely rare, Accu- weather experts said. “About once a decade, a severe thunderstorm is able to produce multiple major tornadoes simultaneously,” Accuweather’s Mike Smith said. The fourth tornado appears to have developed north- east of Pilger, DeWald said. The storms weakened before reaching Sioux City, Iowa. Tornadoes were again re- ported Tuesday afternoon and evening over extreme northern Nebraska. Several tornadoes touched down near Coleridge and Laurel in Cedar County be- ginning about 8:30 p.m., the weather service re- ported. A storm spotter said major damage was done to a farm north-northeast of Coleridge, and law enforce- ment said two farmsteads and a grain bin had been destroyed.

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