Tornado wrecks farm homes, injures several people in Neb.

Monday, April 23, 2007

OMAHA, Neb. -- A tornado ripped up farmsteads in western Nebraska and injured several people as thunderstorms rippled across the Plains.

The twister that struck late Friday spread debris along a path that was up to a half-mile wide in places, the Frontier County sheriff's office said Saturday.

In nearby Dawson County, it followed a course about 18 miles long, said weather service meteorologist Scott Bryant in Hastings, Neb.

The twister was three-quarters of a mile to a mile in width, said weather service meteorologist Corey King.

The violent weather destroyed a farm house about 20 miles east of Wellfleet, and damaged others in Frontier County and east of Moorefield, authorities said.

Several vehicles were blown off Interstate 80 just west of Gothenburg, likely by straight-line wind, Bryant said.

John Johnson, chief executive officer at Gothenburg Memorial Hospital, said nine people injured in collisions or when their vehicles were blown over were brought to his emergency room. One was taken to a trauma center in Kearney and the others were treated and released.

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