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More than 70 tornadoes were reported in 6 states – 48 Telemundo Bay Area

Seventy-nine tornadoes were reported Friday in six states, mostly in Nebraska and Iowa, where homes were flattened and buildings collapsed.

OMAHA, Nebraska, Mayor Jan Stothert said in a Facebook post early Saturday that no deaths were reported and there were some minor injuries after a devastating tornado tore through rural farmland before reaching the suburbs.

Hundreds of homes were damaged, most of them in the Elkhorn area in the western part of the city, Omaha Police Lt. Neil Bonacci said.

“You can definitely see the path of the tornado,” Bonacci said.

Omaha Fire Chief Cathy Boseman said police and firefighters went house to house to assist residents and search for areas where people may be trapped.

“We will be searching properties through piles of debris, we will be looking in basements, we will try to find victims and make sure everyone who needs help is rescued,” Bosman said.

Pat Woods, who lives in Elkhorn, told The Associated Press that he and his wife sought shelter but heard the tornado “rolling over.”

“When we got there, our fence was gone and we looked northwest and the whole neighborhood was gone,” he said.

His wife, Kim Woods, said the neighborhood north of them was “pretty much flattened.”

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds declared a disaster emergency in Pottawattamie County after a video posted on social media showed parts of Minden, about 30 miles northeast of Omaha, Nebraska, completely leveled.

Forty or 50 homes were “completely destroyed,” Jeff Theulen, chief deputy for the Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office, said at a news conference Friday evening.

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He told reporters that there were two reports of injuries, one of which was “very serious but not life-threatening.”

He added, “The situation is very dangerous now. We have closed the entrance to the city except for the people who live here,” noting that “50% of the city is severely damaged and then there is minor damage to the rest.”

About 40 homes were damaged in neighboring Shelby County, county emergency coordinator Alex Londo said. He added that the authorities were assessing the extent of the destruction, noting that there were no reports of deaths.

More than 30 reports of damaging winds and 60 reports of hail were also reported Friday afternoon and night. National Weather Service offices are assessing damage ahead of severe weather expected on Saturday.

More than 30 million people in Oklahoma City; Dallas. Wichita, Kansas; Omaha; milwaukee. And Madison, Wisconsin, is in the path of severe weather.

Northwest Texas and western Oklahoma are under a tornado watch on Saturday, according to the National Weather Service.

“Several strong to severe thunderstorms are expected over portions of Oklahoma, Kansas and North Texas today and into tonight,” the agency's Storm Prediction Center said in a Facebook post.

“Strong, long-range tornadoes, very large hail, and damaging winds are likely.”

Sacha Woodward

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