Northeast Nebraska– Twin tornadoes touched down simultaneously in Tuesday, leaving 75 percent of the buildings in Pilger heavily damaged and destroyed. The devastation killed two people while 16 others were critically injured.
The authorities said that the first tornado landed at 3:45 and downed several power lines before it leveled in a farmland. The second tornado was spotted Southwest Pilger. Shortly afterwards, the town suffered a direct hit that destroyed several buildings.
According to the Emergency officials, the tornado tunneled down mainstreet, destroying every business and advertisement. “More than half of the town is gone – absolutely gone,” said Jerry Weatherholt, a member of the Stanton County Commision, via Reuters.
“It’s a total mess”, he added.
Meanwhile, one of the casualties was identified Calista Dixon, 5, whose mother was medically induced coma in Omaha after the tornado destroyed their home. The other fatality was a motorist identified as David A. Herout, 74, of Clarkson, Nabraska.
Residents felt blessed to survive such tornado and appeared to have a low death toll. “I am amazed that… out of all of this destruction only two people were killed,” Wisniewski told ABC News.
Gov. Dave Heineman declared a state of emergency and the National Guard was preparing to assist local emergency respondents and help with clean-up. A shelter for displaced residents was established at Wisner-Pilger Jr. Sr. High School.
Amidst the odds, the governor is still confident that the community will rebuild.
-KATHRYN A. ORBIGOZO
LNU, ABCOM INTERN