A series of thunderstorms carrying damaging hail and strong winds Wednesday evening ravaged areas west of Hastings, knocking out power and undermining what had been a favorable growing season for many area farmers.
“Hail was the main issue,” said Ryan Pfannkuch, meteorologist at the National Weather Service near Hastings. “The storms all tracked from north to south, and there were some very strong winds. There was an unofficial report of wind gusts to 85 mph 2 miles northeast of Norman in Kearney County.
“The city of Hastings itself was fortunate because some of this weather passed within 15 miles west of town. There was widespread crop damage across various parts of south central Nebraska. Pretty much anywhere these hail storms went there was crop damage.”
A strip of land south of Holstein suffered heavy hail damage, leaving wheat and corn crops shredded, said Gene McNair, who lives seven miles south of Holstein.
“We have a lot of damage,” McNair said this morning. “Our wheat is gone and the corn is just down to the stalk. It pretty well shredded things. I don’t think Holstein, in town, got it quite as bad, but we did have a lot of hail. I haven’t had time really get out and access damage.”