A 5-year-old child was killed and at least 19 people were injured after a storm with tornadoes, some seen as close as one mile apart, ripped through Nebraska.
The video above captured two tornadoes touching down less than a mile apart near the town of Pilger on Monday, according to the National Weather Service. Those tornadoes, along with other strong winds from the storm, sent victims to nearby hospitals with a variety of injuries and leveled the town 100 miles northwest of Omaha, according to the Associated Press. The community of approximately 350 people also saw more than half of their town damaged.
More from the AP:
Stanton County Sheriff Mike Unger estimated that 50 to 75 percent of Pilger was heavily damaged or destroyed in the storm. The local school is likely beyond repair, he said.
‘‘It’s total devastation,’’ Unger said.
Authorities said the first tornado touched down around 3:45 p.m. and downed several power lines before it leveled a farmhouse.
Then a second tornado was spotted southwest of Pilger, according to the Stanton County Sheriff’s Office. Shortly afterward, the town suffered a ‘‘direct hit’’ that leveled several buildings, including the Fire Department building.
Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman declared a state of emergency, and the National Guard was preparing to assist local emergency responders and help with the cleanup. Heineman and officials with the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency were expected to arrive Tuesday morning.
The AP report added that the dual tornadoes were unusual because the were roughly the same size and strength:
[National Weather Service meteorologist Barbara] Mayes said the dual tornadoes were unusual because both appeared to have roughly the same strength. In most cases, she said, one tornado tends to be larger and more powerful than the other, and the bigger cyclone grows stronger as the smaller one weakens.
‘‘It’s less common for two tornadoes to track together for so long, especially with that same intensity,’’ she said. ‘‘By no means is it unprecedented. But we don’t see it often.’’
Officials won’t know the intensity of the tornadoes until after the area has been examined by crews and experts. Boston.com correspondent and meteorologist David Epstein said that more severe weather may impact the Midwest and even show up on the East Coast.