Residents of Wayne are picking up the pieces as areas of the city were destroyed by what the National Weather Service called "an extremely dangerous tornado". Emergency management crews worked overnight on Friday to secure areas hit most by the storm.
Witnesses said the tornado appeared to be at least two miles wide. It leaves at least 15 people injured, with multiple homes and businesses destroyed. Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman declared the area in a state of emergency Friday night.
Mayor Ken Chamberlain said Friday that officials have accounted for all residents in town. Chamberlain said no one was killed and the injuries reported have been minor, but there are millions of dollars in damages to the area.
Emergency management officials said they believe the storm started approximately 6 miles south of the most populated area of town, then traveled east. They said the industrial area on the eastern edge of the city was hit the hardest by the storm, with businesses taking the brunt of the tornado's force. Witnesses reported that the tornado destroyed at least four homes and the city's softball complex.
Authorities said a break in a natural gas pipeline may have leaks, but crews have closed off the area until they investigate it further. Downed power lines and trees were left scattered throughout the city, but officials say they believe most people in Wayne were with power Saturday morning.
While emergency management officials said most people self-evacuated, the chances of them getting back to the affected areas by Saturday morning are slim. Roads are closed keeping people out of areas until officials determine it's safe to return.