Wednesday, May 23, 2018
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Two nights in a row

Back-to-back hail storms batter homes and crops.

Shattered windows, punctured siding, ripped off branches.

Flattened corn and soybeans.

Violent storms, two nights in a row, wreaked havoc in Gothenburg and surrounding area Saturday and Sunday nights.


Central Nebraska Public Power & Irrigation District officials recorded wind gusts Sunday night up to 73 mph in town.


Seven miles northwest of town, where hail damage was severe, a trained spotter for the National Weather Service in Hastings reported a 94 mph gust.

NWS officials described hail as golf-ball sized Saturday and the width of a nickel Sunday night.

Phones rang around the clock at local insurance agencies Monday with callers reporting damage to personal property and crops.

Crop damage was the worst in Wild Horse Valley northwest of town and to the north and northeast although producers south of Gothenburg also reported damage.

Agents estimate that 60,000 to 80,000 acres were destroyed or damaged between Brady and Gothenburg and northeast of town.

Meteorologist Ryan Pfannkuch described Sunday night’s storm as more of a wind event than Saturday night when hail was more prevalent.

Pfannkuch said a weak upper level disturbance interacted with an unstable air mass Sunday as an isolated supercell storm moved in from Lincoln and Custer counties.

On Saturday, he said isolated severe thunderstorms initially developed along a surface low pressure trough to the west, producing gusts up to 60 mph in town.

Precipitation measured between Saturday night and Monday morning totalled 2.18 inches.

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