Tornadoes Rip Through Nebraska - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

5/23/04 - Nebraska

Tornadoes Rip Through Nebraska

It was a frightening night for the state of Nebraska. In all 19 tornadoes were reported. But the town of Hallam, about 25 miles south of Lincoln, was by far the hardest hit.

One of the tornadoes reported last night in Furnas county was spotted by storm trackers. It hit in the south central part of the state.

The storm also produced golf ball-sized hail and four to six inches of rain.

In Hallam, Nebraska governor Mike Johanns said Sunday the small community was destroyed. Three storms ripped through the town of 300. Witnesses say every single home and business was damaged.

Victims rushed to find shelter as they heard the storms approaching.

"We had to break through the door. They broke through the doors. It was the only safe building close enough to get into the shelter," said a little girl.

"I could hear the third one because my ears started popping again. I could hear the third one. The third one didn't hit. The first one missed. The second one got us," said another victim.

A 73 year old Hallam resident died in Saturday night's storms. No other injuries were reported. The Governor has declared a state of emergency and the National Guard is preventing residents from entering their homes because of concerns of gas leaks.

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