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Severe Winds Tear Through Holt County And O'Neill

May 18, 2022 (0)

Andrew Hubert with the O'Neill Fire Department accesses damage on South First Street in O'Neill after high winds devastated trees in the city.
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Pieces of the Lechtenberg Seed building lay folded over after the high winds totally destroyed the structure last Thursday, May 12.
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Many trees came out of the ground during the storm and this tree on East Tipperary ended up resting against the house with damage to the roof and gutter.

Severe thunderstorms developed along the Kansas and Nebraska border near highway 83 early in the afternoon of Thursday, May 12. The storms quickly intensified and developed into a line that moved rapidly northward through eastern Nebraska, northwestern Iowa, eastern South Dakota and into central Minnesota. Wind speeds of 80 to 100 mph brought significant straight line wind damage throughout eastern Nebraska.

A line of severe thunderstorms with destructive straight line winds of 80 to 100 mph impacted portions of Custer, Garfield, Wheeler, Holt and Boyd counties. Widespread tree damage was observed along with damage to buildings.  The city of Burwell was especially impacted on it's southeast side where numerous buildings including the Burwell Rodeo grounds were damaged. 

The City of O'Neill was hit around 3:35 p.m. when the high winds unleashed, pushing trees over. 

Trees on power lines disrupted services in the city until around 6:30 p.m. when NPPD restored power. 

The Lechtenberg Seed building just south of Land Marketers Reality was obliterated with pieces of the structure being strewn for blocks behind the O'Neill Fire Hall. An emergency management vehicle had its passenger window and topper window taken out by the seed building as well as extensive damage to the Land Marketers Realty building.

Emergency personnel were dispatched throughout the city to assess any major structural damage or look for any injured people that may have gotten caught by the fast moving storm.

Residents in the Page area were also hit hard receiving hail and high winds knocking over pivots and demolishing grain bins and taking roofs of hog sheds in the area. Residents in this area had their power restored late Friday afternoon.

The Chambers area also reported extensive tree and some small buildings being damaged as a result of the storm.

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