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The Tornadoes of the "Arbor Day Tornado Outbreak" of 2024

A look at the tornadoes in eastern Nebraska and western Iowa
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Posted at 3:20 PM, Apr 29, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-10 16:16:31-04

This page has last been updated at 3 pm on Friday, May 10. The latest update was to amend the tornado track from the Eppley Airfield/Crescent tornado to begin in northern Council Bluffs as per the latest evidence. Unless the National Weather Service makes additional discoveries, this is likely the final tally of the tornadoes from April 26.

On Friday, April 26, 2024, multiple strong tornadoes hit eastern Nebraska and western Iowa hard. Most of the strongest tornadoes occurred in the immediate Lincoln and Omaha areas, with extensive damage in locations like Waverly, Elkhorn, Bennington, Blair, Eppley Airfield, Minden, and many others. Below are the official results of the National Weather Service offices which have spent several days afterward surveying the tornadoes.

To see updates on the stories of those impacted and recovery efforts, check out theTimeline. For a look at the science behind the tornado outbreak and a broad overview of what happened, check out thisarticle.

OVERVIEW FOR EASTERN NEBRASKA AND WESTERN IOWA
Number of Tornadoes: 22

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Breakdown by Rating -
EF-3 - 5
EF-2 - 2
EF-1 - 8
EF-0 - 3
EF-U - 4

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The confirmed tornado across eastern Nebraska and western Iowa from April 26, 2024.

1. ELKHORN/BENNINGTON/BLAIR, NE
Rating: EF-3
Max. Wind Speed: 165 mph
Path Length: 32 miles
Tornado Width: 1 mile
Time: 3:30 - 4:31 pm
Overview: Began in far southwest Douglas County near 255th and Q st and moved northeast through western Douglas County into Washington County. The tornado hit the west side of Elkhorn and Bennington, and the east side of Blair. The tornado lifted southwest of Modale in Harrison County, Iowa. Most of the damage was done in the 216th and Maple area, as well as south of Blair, where several homes were wiped off of their foundations.

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Map of the Elkhorn tornado path.

2. MINDEN/HARLAN, IA
Rating: EF-3
Max. Wind Speed: 160 mph
Path Length: 41 miles
Tornado Width: 1 mile
Time: 5:25 - 6:45 pm
Overview: Began east of McClelland in Pottawattamie County and moved northeast through Pottawattamie County into Shelby County. The tornado hit the east side of Minden. It then missed the town of Shelby to the west, and Tennent to the east. It reached a mile width west of Harlan. The tornado narrowly missed Defiance before lifting just below the Crawford County line. Most of the damage was on the eastern side of Minden, where multiple homes were leveled. More severe home damage occurred in Shelby County.

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Track of the Minden tornado.

3. COUNCIL BLUFFS, IA/EPPLEY AIRFIELD, NE/CRESCENT, IA
Rating: EF-3
Max. Wind Speed: 152 mph
Path Length: 19 miles
Tornado Width: 516 yards
Time: 4:54 - 5:28 pm
Overview: Per the latest evidence of satellite and damage data, it is believed that the tornado began near 35th and Broadway in Council Bluffs, rather than at Eppley. The tornado did minor damage to trees and homes in northern Council Bluffs before crossing the river into Eppley Airfield. The tornado then moved over the east side of Eppley Airfield. It moved over the Bluffs just east of Crescent, where the most significant damage was done. It lifted near the Harrison County line just south of Beebeetown. Damage was done to hangars and planes at Eppley, and significant home damage occurred south of Crescent.

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Track of the tornado that hit Eppley Airfield.

4. SW POTT. COUNTY, IA
Rating: EF-3
Max. Wind Speed: 145 mph
Path Length: 13 miles
Max. Width: 800 yards
Time: 5:08 - 5:28 pm
Overview: Began just north of the Mills/Pott county line. Moved between Treynor and Council Bluffs. Lifted east of McClelland. Significant damage was done to several homes west of Treynor.

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Track of the tornado in southwest Pottawattamie County.

5. WAVERLY, NE
Rating: EF-3
Max. Wind Speed: 158 mph
Path Length: 8 miles
Tornado Width: 700 yards
Time: 2:52 - 3:04 pm
Overview: Began on the northeast side of Lincoln near Havelock Ave and 84th St. It crossed I-80 near 98th St where the train was derailed. It moved west of Waverly before dissipating north of town. A manufacturing Plant was hit, causing major damage and a few minor injuries to workers. Employee cars were thrown up to 100 yards. A BNSF train was hit and derailed.

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Track of the tornado near Waverly.

6. CRESTON, IA
Rating: EF-2
Max. Wind Speed: 125 mph
Path Length: 6.82 miles
Tornado Width: 350 yards
Time: 6:52 - 7:08 pm
Overview: Tornado began in far eastern Adams County and traveled into the west side of Creston.

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Track of the Creston tornado.

7. MANILA, IA
Rating: EF-2
Max. Wind Speed: 112 mph
Path Length: 9 miles
Tornado Width: 200 yards
Time: 6:28 - 6:44 pm
Overview: Formed on the Shelby/Crawford County line when the Minden tornado lifted. This tornado crossed west of Manila before lifting southeast of Denison. This tornado crossed paths with the Defiance tornado (see below).

8. DEFIANCE, IA
Rating: EF-1
Max. Wind Speed: 107 mph
Path Length: 12 miles
Tornado Width: 100 yards
Time: 6:51 - 7:08 pm
Overview: The Tornado began just east of Defiance right near where the Minden tornado ended. This tornado crossed into Crawford County west of Manila before lifting southeast of Denison.

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Tracks of the Defiance and Manila tornadoes. There was also an EF-U south of Denison near Buck Grove.

9. GLENWOOD, IA
Rating: EF-1
Max. Wind Speed: 100 mph
Path Length: 2.7 miles
Tornado Width: 80 yards
Time: 4:52 - 4:57 pm
Overview: Began just north of Pacific Junction. It crossed Highway 34 between Glenwood and I-29 before lifting near Pony Creek Park.

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Track of the Glenwood tornado.

10. PISGAH, IA
Rating: EF-1
Max. Wind Speed: 110 mph
Path Length: 9 miles
Tornado Width: 766 yards
Time: 4:52 - 5:09 pm
Overview: Tornado began near Steer Creek in the Loess Hills and moved due north, damaging trees and several homes. The tornado moved just east of Pisgah before lifting on the Monona County side of the county line.

11. PISGAH, IA 2
Rating: EF-0
Max. Wind Speed: UNK
Path Length: 2 miles
Tornado Width: 200 yds
Time: 4:59 - 5:04 pm
Overview: Eyewitnesses saw two tornadoes east of Pisgah, but the second tornado did little damage other than a few snapped tree branches.

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Tracks of the EF-0 and EF-1 tornadoes neare Pisgah in Harrison County.

12. SOLDIER, IA
Rating: EF-1
Max. Wind Speed: 98 mph
Path Length: 3 miles
Tornado Width: UNK
Time: 5:23 - 5:30 pm
Overview: Tornado brushed the west side of Soldier, but did little to no damage in town. Damage was confined to snapped trees and broken power poles.

13. MOORHEAD, IA
Rating: EF-0
Max. Wind Speed: 85 mph
Path Length: 1 mile
Tornado Width: 100 yards
Time: 5:17 - 5:19 pm
Overview: A brief tornado in southern Monona County did damage to a few trees and one shed.

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Tracks of the EF-0 and EF-1 tornadoes in Monona County.

14. ASHLAND, NE
Rating: EF-1
Max. Wind Speed: 108 mph
Path Length: 4 miles
Tornado Width: 50 yards
Time: 3:12 - 3:18 pm
Overview: Storm chasers documented a tornado west of Ashland in Saunders County. The tornado did hit one farmstead where it snapped trees and damaged a barn.

15. GREENWOOD, NE
Rating: EF-0
Max. Wind Speed: 75 mph
Path Length: 4 mile
Tornado Width: 100 yards
Time: 3:03 - 3:07 pm
Overview: Storm chasers documented a tornado northwest of Greenwood in Lancaster County. Except for a few snapped tree branches, minimal damage was done by this tornado.

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Tracks of the EF-0 and EF-1 tornadoes near Greenwood and Ashland.

16. NORFOLK, NE
Rating: EF-1
Max. Wind Speed: 107 mph
Path Length: 0.7 miles
Tornado Width: 100 yards
Time: 5:16 - 5:19 pm
Overview: This brief tornado moved near the Elkhorn River along the Madison/Stanton County lines. Damage was done to a Gymnastics Center and a Pallet Plant.

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Track of the EF-1 tornado between Norfolk and Stanton.

17. DWIGHT, NE
Rating: EF-1
Max. Wind Speed: 100 mph
Path Length: 8 miles
Tornado Width: 200 yds
Time: 2:51 - 3:07 pm
Overview: Began near Highway 15 north of the Seward County line. A road sign and trees were snapped as it crossed Highway 15. The tornado caused little more damage before lifting south of David City.

18. BUTLER COUNTY, NE
Rating: EF-UNK
Max. Wind Speed: N/A
Path Length: 0.7 miles
Tornado Width: 30 yards
Time: 3:06 - 3:07 pm
Overview: Storm spotters observed a tornado southeast of David City, but no damage was noted along its track.

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Track of the EF-1 and EF-U tornadoes in Butler County.

19. PLATTE COUNTY, NE
Rating: EF-1
Max. Wind Speed: 100 mph
Path Length: 5 miles
Tornado Width: 100 yds
Time: 4:07 - 4:20 pm
Overview: Moved through eastern Platte County, south of Creston. A few homes were damaged before the tornado lifted south of Creston.

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Track of the Platte County EF-1

20. BUCK GROVE, IA
Rating: EF-UNK
Path Length: 2 miles
Tornado Width: 40 yds
Time: 6:31 - 6:34 pm
Overview: Despite photo/video evidence of a tornado in southern Crawford County, no damage was discovered.

21. MAITLAND, MO
Rating: EF-UNK
Path Length: 0.1 miles
Time: 3:12 - 3:18 pm
Overview: The fire chief spotted a brief tornado in an open field, with no damage.

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Track of a brief tornado north of Maitland, Missouri.

22. VERDON, NE
Rating: EF-UNK
Path Length: 0.1 miles
Overview: A brief tornado was observed by spotters southwest of Verdon, but no damage was done.

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Track of the brief tornado southwest of Verdon