The small town of Pilger in northeast Nebraska has been devastated by twin tornadoes that killed a child, left half the town in ruins, and seriously injured at least 16 people. The tornadoes, which were about a mile apart, destroyed many buildings in the town of 350 people about 75 miles north of Omaha. "It was like God dragged two fingernails across the the land," a school system employee tells the Omaha World-Herald. The town has been evacuated as authorities search for survivors in the rubble.
"More than half of the town is gone—absolutely gone," the county commissioner tells the AP. "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." Witnesses say they could see nothing but wrecked buildings for block after block, with cars and street signs strewn around. Six people rode out the storm in a bank vault. "Our ears started popping ... and we heard a swishing sound," one survivor says. "About the time we figured it was over, the roof caved in." (Read more Nebraska stories.)