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. (Read more Great Plains stories.)