Officials: Tornado kills 5-year-old girl; Pilger 50-75 percent d - kotanow.com- Scottsbluff Area News, Sports, and Weather

Officials: Tornado kills 5-year-old girl; Pilger 50-75 percent damaged

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Authorities say a 5-year-old girl was killed in the northeast Nebraska tornado that destroyed more than half of the town of Pilger.

The Stanton County Sheriff's Office confirmed the death in a statement late Monday. Authorities say the child was among several people near the town's Main Street who suffered critical injuries when the tornado struck. Officials say one other person was killed and 19 people were taken to local hospitals for injuries.

The tornado was one of two that touched down in Stanton County. Authorities say the first landed southwest of Stanton around 3:45 p.m. and leveled a farm house. Officials say the second tornado touched down shortly afterward southwest of Pilger before hitting the town. Several major buildings were destroyed, including the Fire Department.

Stanton County Sheriff Mike Unger says 50 to 75 percent of Pilger.

Unger said late Monday that the storm caused "total devastation" in the town of about 350. He says the local school is likely damaged beyond repair.

Unger says five people had to be rescued from a rural home day care northwest of Stanton. That home was hit just before the storm moved into Pilger.

Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman has declared a state of emergency, and the National Guard was preparing to assist local emergency responders and help with the cleanup. Heineman and officials with the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency were expected to arrive in the area Tuesday morning.
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