Great Plains Walloped With Snowstorm, Tornadoes

15 injured in tornadoes, 3 die in snow-related car accident

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Oct 5, 2013 2:29 PM CDT

(Newser) – In the span of 24 hours, the scenic Black Hills in South Dakota were coated in up to three and a half feet of wet, heavy snow, one of several Great Plains states walloped by a storm system that's caused millions of dollars in damage. But wintry weather wasn't the only thing wrapped into the powerful cold front, as thunderstorms brought heavy rain, hail and as many as nine tornadoes to Nebraska and Iowa. Fifteen people in northeast Nebraska were injured in a tornado yesterday, and three died in a car accident on a snow-slicked Nebraska road.

More than 25,000 people lost power in South Dakota's Rapid City area, leaving 80 motorists stuck in their vehicles overnight. Some of the most severe tornado damage was in Wayne, Neb., where at least 10 buildings were destroyed and five were heavily damaged in the town of 9,600, the Omaha World-Herald reported. Ten homes near the town were also damaged. Mayor Ken Chamberlain said at least 15 people were injured, with one person in critical condition. Forecasters say the cold front will eventually combine with other storms to make for a wild—and probably very wet—weekend for much of the central US and Southeast.

Travis Randall walks through the debris-strewn yard of his parent's home in Hickman, Neb.
Travis Randall walks through the debris-strewn yard of his parent's home in Hickman, Neb.   (Nati Harnik)
Zack Ruml, 20, of Rapid City, S.D, lifts a heavy crab apple tree branch off of his 1998 Pontiac Gran Prix.
Zack Ruml, 20, of Rapid City, S.D, lifts a heavy crab apple tree branch off of his 1998 Pontiac Gran Prix.   (Steve McEnroe)
Residents try to free a house panel from where it was lodged against a tree following a tornado in Bennet, Neb.
Residents try to free a house panel from where it was lodged against a tree following a tornado in Bennet, Neb.   (Nati Harnik)
Mary Teng stands outside of Lovejoy’s Bar and Grill on Friday, Oct. 4, 2013, as the snow falls on Grand Avenue in Laramie, Wyo.
Mary Teng stands outside of Lovejoy’s Bar and Grill on Friday, Oct. 4, 2013, as the snow falls on Grand Avenue in Laramie, Wyo.   (Jeremy Martin)
Ronnie Tonuci, 21 of Rapid City, S.D., puts gas in his pickup truck after it ran out in the middle of an early season blizzard.
Ronnie Tonuci, 21 of Rapid City, S.D., puts gas in his pickup truck after it ran out in the middle of an early season blizzard.   (Steve McEnroe)
Traci Krus looks at a pictures of her family that she found in her tornado-damaged home in Wayne, Neb.
Traci Krus looks at a pictures of her family that she found in her tornado-damaged home in Wayne, Neb.   (Dave Weaver)
Brenda Nolting, of Rapid City, S.D., rolls her cart to her car after stocking up on necessities at a local supermarket in Rapid City.
Brenda Nolting, of Rapid City, S.D., rolls her cart to her car after stocking up on necessities at a local supermarket in Rapid City.   (Steve McEnroe)
A house damaged by a tornado, in the background, sits among the damage Friday in Wayne, Neb.
A house damaged by a tornado, in the background, sits among the damage Friday in Wayne, Neb.   (DAVE WEAVER)
A building is covered in debris in Wayne, Neb.
A building is covered in debris in Wayne, Neb.   (Dave Weaver)
Traci Krus looks to salvage personal items from her damaged home in Wayne, Neb.
Traci Krus looks to salvage personal items from her damaged home in Wayne, Neb.   (Dave Weaver)
Mick Samuelson looks at the damage to his property in Wayne, Neb.
Mick Samuelson looks at the damage to his property in Wayne, Neb.   (Dave Weaver)
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