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Storms generate two tornadoes, winds of 115 mph, leaving trail of damage in Nebraska, Iowa

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Two tornadoes and powerful straight-line winds left a trail of damage as thunderstorms moved through eastern Nebraska and western Iowa Tuesday into Wednesday morning.

National Weather Service meteorologist Becky Kern said two tornadoes have been confirmed, one near Murdock, Nebraska, and the other near Treynor, Iowa.

Damage from several other suspected tornadoes was instead the result of straight-line winds, she said.

Straight-line winds reached 115 mph near Utica, Nebraska, and 90 mph near York, Nebraska, and at Silver City, Iowa, according to reports from the weather service.

Winds reached 75 mph at Hastings, Offutt Air Force Base in Bellevue and in Council Bluffs. A 79 mph wind gust was reported at Kearney.

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The Prairie Crossing Vineyard & Winery tasting room stands roofless at the Treynor winery on June, 15, 2022, following devastating damage from storms Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning.

The tornado near Treynor led to building damage that resulted in the closure of Prairie Crossing Vineyard & Winery. The winery posted on Facebook that no one was injured, but that they would be closed indefinitely.

In Nebraska, family members in an RV suffered minor injuries when the storm toppled their large fifth-wheel camper, said Greenwood Volunteer Fire Chief Mark Sobota.

Sobota said the family had been camping at the Pine Grove Campground near the Interstate 80 Greenwood exit.

Kern said straight-line winds were responsible for tipping over the trailer, but the storm soon thereafter spun out the Murdock tornado.

Sobota said the storm caused significant tree and power line damage in Greenwood. Volunteers pitched in to clear streets of debris and to make it easier for the Omaha Public Power District to restore power.

“We’re seeing small-town living at its finest — people helping people,” he said.

Chad Korte, chief deputy director of the Cass County Emergency Management Agency, said Murdock also sustained significant tree damage.

Korte and Sobota said there was damage to some center pivots, grain bins, siding and roofs.

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A deer looks at a fallen tree Wednesday on Terry Avenue near Sherry Drive in Bellevue. A storm that came through overnight brought high winds and, in some places, hail.

The weather service received dozens of reports of large hail, including some stones slightly larger than golf balls. Hail damage was reported to crops in Lancaster County and to trees and shrubs along the path of the storm, including in York.

Rainfall totals at 7 a.m. Wednesday included 1.81 inches at Eppley Airfield and 1.60 inches in Council Bluffs. Blair, Nebraska, and Harlan, Iowa, each recorded 1.46 inches, with 1.39 reported at the Millard Airport and 1.10 in Valley.

Pottawattamie County Emergency Management Director Doug Reed said 63 structures sustained damage, either from downed limbs and trees or straight-line winds. The good news, he said, is that no injuries occurred.

The forecast for Thursday includes another chance for thunderstorms in Omaha starting in the evening hours. An excessive heat watch has been issued for much of central Nebraska.

World-Herald staff writer Kevin Cole contributed to this report.

kevin.cole@owh.com, 402-444-1272

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Nancy Gaarder helps cover public safety and weather events as an editor on The World-Herald's breaking news desk. Follow her on Twitter @gaarder. Email: nancy.gaarder@owh.com

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