BLUE HILL — A severe storm with high winds and hail in the early morning hours of Sunday caused a swath of damage here with downed trees, damage from fallen limbs and flooding.
Mayor Keri Schunk surveyed the damage and found it focused in the middle of the city.
“A strip several blocks wide made through the middle of town was hit the hardest,” she said. “The north and south sides of town also had damage but it was much less.”
Trees were uprooted and fallen limbs damaged homes and vehicles. There was also flooding at the golf course and the lowest area of town, but as far as Schunk knows, it didn’t rise to the point of invading any homes.
Schunk said the storm was a surprise because the forecast only included a 15% chance of precipitation. She heard reports of rain ranging from 3.45 to 3.8 inches.
“We can use the rain, but not all at the same time,” she said. “It was a surprising outcome, considering the forecast.”
The city opened the brush dump on Sunday to facilitate the cleanup process as residents worked to manage the damage.
It was a harsh start to what looks to be a difficult week weatherwise. Officials are warning people to be aware of upcoming heat and dry conditions.
The National Weather Service in Hastings issued a heat advisory Monday morning for an area of south central Nebraska and north central Kansas.
High temperatures for both Tuesday and Wednesday are forecast to climb into the mid-90s to near 100 degrees.
The max heat index forecast to be 103 degrees on Tuesday and 102 degrees on Wednesday. Combined with increased dew points, the resulting heat index values are forecast to reach 100-108 degrees.
Southerly winds of 10-15 mph are expected both days.
Some relief from the heat may come to portions of the area on Thursday, but confidence at this time isn’t high.
The weather service offered tips to anyone planning to be outdoors this week:
- Limit outdoor activities
- Drink plenty of water
- Avoid alcohol
- Wear light clothing
- Wear sunscreen
- Work outdoors early or very late in the day.
More tips and resources are available at www.weather.gov/heat.