NWS North Platte
The National Weather Service in North Platte took the above photo during their damage survey after a tornado touched down nine miles northwest of Perkins County. The survey reported the grain bin was tossed into a parked semi and then landed on the tractor. This happened on the property of Robert Woodmancy.
Complex of thunderstorms spawns tornado
Winds from a tornado that touched down briefly nine miles northwest of Grant on Wednesday, June 6 left agricultural equipment damaged.
According to the National Weather Service (NWS) of North Platte, a complex of thunderstorms moving through the area created the 10-yard-wide tornado, which was rated an EF-0 on the Enhanced Fujita scale.
The brief touchdown began at 7:24 p.m. and ended at 7:25 p.m., traveling 0.1 miles with an estimated peak wind of 70 mph.
While original reports placed the tornado at five miles northwest of Grant, NWS’ damage survey confirmed its location at nine miles northwest.
The damage survey reported a grain bin being tossed into a parked semi and then landing upside down on a tractor. Perkins County Emergency Manager Jim Brueggeman confirmed these damages happened on the property of Robert Woodmancy.
Several pivots were also damaged in the area.
Brueggeman said damages in Venango and northwest Perkins County included uprooted trees, a power line knocked on a shed and a camper trailer turned over on its side.
While a severe thunderstorm warning had been issued for northwest Perkins County, Nathan Jurgensen of NWS said it’s not entirely unheard of for a tornado watch not to be issued before a tornado hits. Alerts are based on the most significant threats, and he said they believed those were aligned with more of a thunderstorm.
“We knew there would be potential for some severe weather. We didn’t think that there was a great tornado threat. However, obviously we still happened to see a tornado,” he said. “They were addressing the greatest threat rather than issuing a tornado watch because they didn’t believe there would be a great number of tornadoes.”
Lightening hit an antennae at the top of the tower by the Midwest Electric office in Grant at 8:17 p.m.
IT Manager Jayson Bishop said it destroyed several radios, about five computers, their phone system and a couple networks.
Great Plains Communications came in that night and restored one phone and returned the following day to get the rest operating. Bishop said they had enough spare computers to get up and running on Thursday.
Parts were expected Monday for radios to their meter reading and SCADA systems so they could get those systems operating.
As far as the storm affecting their customers, Bishop said they had 50 residential accounts without electricity at one time. Crews worked until early Thursday morning to get those accounts back in service.
Bishop said the lightning took out several fuses on irrigation wells that they were still working to replace Monday. He recommended that farmers and ranchers check their irrigation and stock wells to make sure they’re working.
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Brueggeman said registrants will only be notified if their address falls within the specific area of the weather alert. More than one address can be added if preferred. Alerts can be received by phone, text and/or email.
According to their website, NWS provides alert and warning information through official dissemination sources. They do not provide direct email/SMS alerts to the general public.
NWS North Platte provides weather updates through their Facebook page, US National Weather Service North Platte Nebraska.
According to Brueggeman, the tornado siren is sounded if there is a threat to residents of the city or village.