Tornado Rips Through Wayne, Destroys Homes and Businesses

Regions of the Midwest were hit Friday evening by a damaging tornado, which affected Wayne, Nebraska the hardest, causing total destruction and injuries.

Those injuries includes the critical one of famous storm chaser Reid Timmer who suffered a seizure during his chase and was flown to Mercy Medical Center.

Devastation, debris and destruction is the sight of Wayne after an EF-3 tornado ripped through the Midwest and Great Plains region Friday afternoon and evening, leaving 15 injured in Wayne and some families now homeless.

"I didn't even notice the tree was in half and then I turned around and I realized I didn't have a house, and that was hard for my kids," said Traci Kruseman, who was choking back tears as we spoke with her.

Kruseman's home of only one year is completely gone, what's left is merely their storm shelter.

"Half the buildings are gone, the crops are gone, I mean it's just sad to see that it's all gone," said local resident Cassie Davis.

What's left of the industrial sector in Wayne after the tornado's destruction is minimal.

Minutes away the municipal airport is completely destroyed and like the rest of Wayne will cost millions to repair.

For the town of nearly 6,000 people, Mayor Ken Chamberlain says Wayne will bounce back but that may be months even a year away.

"A little overwhelmed. This afternoon, I've been visiting with some of the families and some of the businesses owners that, you know, have just lost everything and it's a pretty heavy load," said Chamberlain.

State and local officials have set up a command center at various location, Heritage Home being their main base, with several agencies to assess the damages and assist those affected.

For now, residents will clean up, restore their town and hope the aftermath will help make the community stronger.

Heavy damages were also reported in parts of Iowa and South Dakota, as well as the Great Plains region.

Further severe weather is forecasted within the upcoming weeks. OR