Storms batter state with hail, high winds and heavy rain
(SOURCE) Hail left more than a dent over parts of Nebraska, and torrential rain flooded streets in Omaha on what experts promised would be a wild weather Tuesday.
While the severe weather outbreak mostly dodged Lincoln and other parts of southeast Nebraska, residents in other areas had an eye to the sky for hours.
In north-central Nebraska, where the severe storms first fired up around noon Tuesday, hail chased scouts off a river and wind tipped a truck along a highway.
In northeast Nebraska, pictures of hail the size of tennis balls emerged from Norfolk, and later, we saw hail-damaged homes in Plainview and car after car minus windows on an auto dealer’s lot in Blair.
There were water rescues and evacuations in Omaha, as some parts of town were drenched with 4 inches of rain in less than three hours, the weather service said.
There were tornado warnings in the Nebraska Panhandle and across parts of central Nebraska. Radar indicated a tornado on the ground west of Beatrice beginning about 10 p.m., but it lifted before reaching the city and hadn’t caused any reported damage.
The story of the day was the extensive hail damage and the flooding in Omaha.
Blair was among the areas pounded by hail, with the Woodhouse Auto Family of dealerships tweeting that 4,500 vehicles in their $152 million inventory were damaged.
Blair City Manager Rod Storm said hail “broke most of the windows out of everything.”
Late Tuesday evening, he and others inside city hall had been working for four hours trying to board up windows and clean up glass shards.
“It’s going to be an expensive storm,” he said.
Heavy rain in the Omaha area left police to assist drivers stranded in floodwaters. Later in the evening, authorities began evacuating residents from flooded areas around 16th and Ames.
Omaha Police spokesman James Shade said dozens of residents were evacuated from low-lying homes on the city’s northeast side, including a 95-year-old woman in a wheelchair who was rescued from her home.
No injuries were reported.