2 dead in massive Nebraska tornadoes - WNCN: News, Weather

2 dead, 16 injured as rare double tornadoes rip through Nebraska

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Dual tornadoes hit Pilger, NE Monday afternoon, killing one and injuring 16 others. (Source: Adam Lucio/KDR Media/CNN) Dual tornadoes hit Pilger, NE Monday afternoon, killing one and injuring 16 others. (Source: Adam Lucio/KDR Media/CNN)
Two long-track tornadoes touched down in Nebraska Monday. (Source: KTIV/Norfolk News Bureau/CNN) Two long-track tornadoes touched down in Nebraska Monday. (Source: KTIV/Norfolk News Bureau/CNN)
Two long-track tornadoes touched down in Nebraska Monday. (Source: KTIV/Norfolk News Bureau/CNN) Two long-track tornadoes touched down in Nebraska Monday. (Source: KTIV/Norfolk News Bureau/CNN)
Tornado damage in Pilger, NE on Monday. (Source: KITV/CNN) Tornado damage in Pilger, NE on Monday. (Source: KITV/CNN)

PILGER, NE (RNN) – Two people are confirmed dead after a dangerous storm system spawning a rare double tornado that ripped through areas 100 miles northeast of Omaha, NE, on Monday.

A five-year-old died in Pilger, NE, according to Staton County Sheriff Mike Unger. A second person died outside of town.

Sixteen others were in critical condition, according to Faith Regional Hospital spokeswoman Jodi Richey. In Wayne, NE, three tornado victims were treated for injuries at Providence Medical Center; two victims were treated for lacerations and released Monday night, and another is listed in stable condition.

The severe weather moved through Iowa and into southwest Minnesota Monday evening. Tornado warnings for south central Nebraska have been canceled as of 9 p.m. CT, according to a tweet from the National Weather Service Hastings.

There were reports of tornadoes in southern Wisconsin early Tuesday morning, with a roof torn off a house in Madison, WI. There were other reports of damage in Dane and Green counties, WI.

Shortly before 4 p.m. CT, a massive tornado touched down in Stanton, NE, beginning the hours-long movement of fast and dangerous storms. The storm then moved to Pilger, NE, 101 miles northwest of Omaha, and a town of about 350 people.

According to the Associated Press, the two tornadoes that touched down shortly after 4 p.m. CT were about a mile apart.

Major damage was reported in Pilger, NE as the massive storm system moved quickly through, causing a stovepipe tornado. Stanton County, NE, Commissioner Jerry Weatherhold told the AP that one of the massive tornadoes destroyed more than half of Pilger.

"More than half of the town is gone - absolutely gone," Weatherholt said. "The co-op is gone, the grain bins are gone, and it looks like almost every house in town has some damage. It's a complete mess."

Stanton County Sheriff Mike Unger told the AP that betweet 50 and 75 percent of Pilger was heavily damaged following the storm, with a local school totally destoryed. Unger also said five people had to be rescued from a rural home day care northwest of Stanton, NE.

"I've been telling people for many years that I've never seen a tornado in my life and I grew up in northeast Nebraska. Well, I got to see something today I wish I never would have seen," Unger said.

Gregg Moeller of Wisner, NE told the Norfolk Daily News that the two tornadoes were "like God dragged two fingernails across the land."

The Nebraska Emergency Management Agency, or NEMA, said in a press release that rescue crews were working in Stanton, Cuming and Wayne counties, as the search for survivors underneath debris begins.

The Nebraska National Guard has also been deployed with NEMA to begin assisting residents in areas where Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman has declared a state of emergency. Heineman will travel to Pilger to survey tornado damage on Tuesday. 

At one point, two massive wedge tornadoes were reported on the ground simultaneously. CNN reports that one tornado created winds of up to 200 miles per hour.

The storms going through northern and central Nebraska produced strong winds, golf ball-sized hail, flash-flooding and severe thunderstorms.

One Nebraska resident tweeted, "I have never seen anything like this. The first twister went down Pilger main street."

The National Weather Service - Omaha tweeted that multiple tornadoes have been spotted since the first were reported in Stanton around 3:30 p.m. CT. The National Weather Service also reported a tornado near Burwell, NE late Monday evening.

To get real-time updates from social media, check out our Storify here.

Follow me on Twitter @TanitaG_RNN.

Copyright 2014 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

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