Catastrophic damage in Plains following most active tornado outbreak of 2024

Nearly 100 Tornado Warnings were issued Friday, making it the most active tornado day of 2024. Although some injuries were reported, there are currently no immediate reports of fatalities.

OMAHA, Neb. – An outbreak of powerful tornadoes swept across the Plains on Friday, causing extensive destruction and leaving behind a trail of damage. 

Nearly 100 Tornado Warnings were issued across the outbreak, making it the most active tornado day of 2024. The National Weather Service office in Omaha issued 48 of those Tornado Warnings, the most they have ever issued in a single day.

Although some injuries were reported, there are currently no immediate reports of fatalities. This comes as additional rounds of severe storms are expected Saturday.

FOX Weather Storm Tracker Corey Gerken captured video of one of the powerful tornadoes crossing Interstate 80 outside of Lincoln, Nebraska. After the supercell passed, damage was reported in the town of Waverly, and a semi-truck was flipped.

The Lancaster County Sheriff's Office reported that parts of a large manufacturing facility collapsed, trapping at least 70 workers. All workers were evacuated by first responders, and three employees received treatment for injuries. 

Emergency management reported that more than a dozen people were treated at area hospitals following the severe weather.


There were additional reports of destructive tornadoes, particularly in the northwestern area of Omaha where a Tornado Emergency was declared. First responders went door-to-door in affected areas, conducting search and rescue operations.

According to the National Weather Service in Omaha, surveys to assess the damage are currently underway. The five survey teams have discovered indications consistent with at least EF-3 intensity in certain areas.


Local storm chasers reported several people were injured, and some homes appeared to be flattened in Elkhorn, Nebraska.

Omaha's airport damaged by tornado 

Flight passengers at Omaha’s Eppley Airfield had to head to storm shelters as a tornado touched down at the airport.

Airport officials said they closed the airfield when the twister touched down just after 5 p.m. and got all the passengers to safety. The passenger terminal made it through the storm unscathed, but the airport did suffer damage to multiple general aviation buildings on the east side of the airfield, officials said.

No one was injured and flights resumed nearly an hour later.

Damage in southwestern Hawkeye State

A Tornado Emergency was also issued for a storm cell in southwest Iowa that produced at least one significant tornado.

"Unfortunately, it was on the ground for a long time and hit several small towns on its path," said storm chaser Brett Adair. "So, once we get into some of these more open areas where you’ve got more of the farms and the fields, in many cases, we can get lucky and not deal with so much damage. But unfortunately, this thing tracked for such a long way, we’ve seen quite a bit of damage today."


After reports of the damage, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds issued a disaster declaration for Pottawattamie County, which is home to 15 towns, including Carter Lake, Council Bluffs, Minden and Shelby.

Both the Omaha, Nebraska, and Minden, Iowa areas that took direct hits from tornadoes on Friday are under a Level 2 severe weather risk on Saturday.