Cordova Home and Farm Destroyed By Reported Tornado


Nebraska Emergency Management estimates the Mother's Day storm outbreak caused at least $20 million in damage.

Tuesday night one Cordova family is sorting through what's left behind after a reported tornado ripped through their home and family farm.

After living on their farm for 54 years, and raising 6 kids and 14 grandchildren, friends and family continue to pour in to help Wayne and Vickie Olsen as they clean up the mess left behind by a reported tornado that tore through their home Sunday evening.

The Olsens sat in a circle and shared laughs over lunch provided by Phat Jack's in Lincoln, but what seemed like a typical meal was really just a break from the reality of losing their home to severe storms.

"It was worse than we had expected because from the angle we didn't realize the back of the roof had been torn off," said Vickie Olsen. "We thought maybe it could be repaired, but when we looked at it when we got home it was gone."

The Olsens were in Grand Island celebrating Mother's Day when their home was hit and didn't see the damage to their farm until Monday morning.

"We didn't realize that all of the outbuildings were gone, the barn was completely gone, the silo was gone," Olsen said.

But even though pieces of the farm are gone, the family says the memories remain.

"It's gonna be really weird not coming to grandmas house," said Joan Strate. "Not being able to come back and having the whole house be here and siting around the table playing cards."

While it's already been two days of cleanup, the Olsens say they're prepared for the long road ahead.

"We have our land, we can rebuild, we can go on," said Olsen. "It's going to be a lot of hard work, it's gonna take a lot of time, but we can do it."

The Olsens haven't decided if they're going to rebuild directly on the site where the tornado struck their home, or if they'll rebuild on another corner of their farmland. They say the cleanup process and rebuilding could take a year, but for now they're just taking it day by day.


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