Nebraska have been hit by an extreme weather event that is predicted to continue lashing the Midwest state with tornadoes, hail and destructive winds of up to 160kph.
The multi-day outbreak began on Thursday, also pounding parts of Iowa, Illinois and Indiana.
Damage reports so far are sketchy and no deaths are known to have occurred.
But it was Nebraska where Nature’s fury has done the most initial damage — and almost claimed the life of Reed Timmer, an amateur storm chaser who found what he was looking for just west of the farming town of McCook, Nebraska.
After leaving his pickup to photograph the twister, he was caught by surprise when it overtook him..
“I was unable to get back to the vehicle and couldn’t see it, so I just turned my back to the wind and hoped for the best until it passed,” Timmer said.
“Tornado Alley is certainly waking up with significant severe weather.”
Meteorologists had been predicting the tornado outbreak for days, pointing to a “a country divided” by a bands of hot and cold weather.
That divide marked the Midwest for serious damage and saw emergency services put on 24-hour alert.
Up to 50 million people could be affected, based on areas at risk for severe weather, according to the National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center, which predicted the roaming storms could spawn anywhere between Texas in the south and Canada in the far north.
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