The National Weather Service confirmed, Monday, that a tornado passed through West Lincoln Sunday night. It was a low-end EF-2 with winds around 120 miles per hour.
The storm entered the city around Northwest 52nd and West Holdrege and traveled southwest, taking a roof off of a motorcycle dealership and a car wash; destroying an ice cream stand, and doing varying degrees of damage to homes, businesses and trees.
Normally, emergency managers wait for the National Weather Service to issue a warning, but Lancaster County Emergency Management Director Jim Davidsaver told KFOR News that spotters, traffic cameras, and video posted by the public all helped with the decision to activate the tornado sirens five minutes before the National Weather Service issued their warning.
KFOR News spoke with Davidsaver, Monday, about the events that led up to the early activation of the tornado sirens: “We literally had bodies in the EOC [Emergency Operations Center], and we had some of our spotters out keeping an eye on it and that’s what really kept us in a good place as far as being able to trigger the activations at the local level.”
“We could really see the cloud formations and rotation, so when the storm spotters confirmed that sighting of a tornado, I activated the sirens county-wide,” said Davidsaver.
Davidsaver gave the credit that is deserved to the citizens who assisted in the confirmation of the tornado saying: “We’re very fortunate to have a well-informed population out there who are sharing that information real-time and then after the fact so we can get an accurate read on exactly what happened.”
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