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Residents start sorting through the debris following tornadoes that struck areas of Nebraska and Iowa

Inspector checks the damaged house after a tornado (Peter Jonas/Getty Images)

Residents started sorting through debris on Saturday after a tornado tore through suburban Omaha, Nebraska, destroying homes and businesses as it swept through farmland and into neighborhoods, then hitting a town in Iowa.

Numerous tornadoes caused widespread damage on Friday across the Midwest. One tornado caused a building to collapse with many people inside and damaged or destroyed at least 150 homes in Omaha.

Fortunately, there were no reported deaths, and fewer than twenty people were treated at hospitals in the Omaha area, according to Dr. Lindsay Huse, health director for Douglas County.

Dr. Huse described the situation as “miraculous,” emphasizing that none of the injuries were serious. Nearby communities reported only a few injuries each.

The tornadoes started on Friday afternoon near Lincoln, Nebraska, where an industrial building collapsed with 70 people inside in Lancaster County. Although several people were initially trapped, everyone was safely evacuated, and the injuries were not life-threatening, authorities reported.

House destroyed in a tornado (Via Kevin Ingram/Shutterstock)

One or possibly two tornadoes then moved towards Omaha over the course of about an hour, causing damage consistent with an EF3 tornado, with winds ranging from 135 to 165 mph, according to meteorologist Chris Franks from the National Weather Service’s Omaha office.

The tornado eventually struck the Elkhorn neighborhood in western Omaha, a city with a population of 485,000 people and a metro area of about 1 million.

“We barely made it to the basement and then we heard the destruction happening upstairs,” said James Stennis, a resident who moved to Elkhorn about a year ago. “Wow!”

Firefighters worked late into the evening to ensure no one was trapped. By Saturday morning, the sound of chainsaws filled the neighborhood as residents began cleaning up. Piles of lumber from damaged homes and knocked-over fences were scattered around, and many trees were stripped of their branches.

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