Quick-moving, intense storm may have kept damage in Beatrice from more serious level
BEATRICE – Beatrice may have escaped serious damage in a powerful thunderstorm line Wednesday afternoon, but the storm did snap trees, downed some power lines and caused building damage.
"I think we escaped anything really, really serious like some places got. We did have some roof damage, awning damage in some of the downtown businesses. We did have some windows blown out in some businesses in the community...and had a fairly significant power outage."
Beatrice Police Chief Bruce Lang says the city’s automated metering system showed that about 560 customers lost electricity in the late afternoon storm, with electric crews working to make repairs in several parts of the city. Lang says there were no reports of injuries in Beatrice.
"We did have some power outages in some places where people, for medical reasons needed power. We made sure the electric department got to them as soon as possible."
The Chief says the storm damage seemed to be the result of strong straight-line winds in a fast-moving line of thunderstorms that carried wind gusts of nearly 90-miles-per-hour. When the storm passed through the city, there was a short period of zero visibility.
Lang says there was no order to keep people off the streets overnight. "Obviously, having less people in your way helps in the cleanup. The fire department is working with some of the rural fire departments to do some cleanup work and will do that throughout the night. The street department has been out clearing the streets of debris and tree branches, so it's been pretty much a group effort. The Southeast 911 Center did a call-back of most of its personnel...and at one time, it looked like they had eight or nine dispatchers in there working at the same time."
Several other communities had damage from the storm, including significant damage in the downtown area of Wymore. A lot of structural damage was reported in Pawnee City. Large trees were reported uprooted in Sterling and roofs were blown off outbuildings. Fairbury had power lines blown down, in the storm.