2021 July 10, Saturday
A storm left nearly 200,000 people without power in the Omaha-metro area. It hit Blair around 11:45 PM last night. If you were up, you heard it rumble through town, right before most lost power at midnight.
The storm careened through Fort Calhoun, Omaha, down through Plattsmouth and beyond. At 3PM, Saturday, there are thousands still without power, and businesses closed due to damage, or lack of electricity.
But, what seemed loud, windy, but normal for this time of year, really wasn’t. Even amateur weather-watchers can see twisted limbs – big, live limbs – of trees littered across town. Those branches were not blown down due to “straight-line” winds “with gusts up to 70 MPH” (as forecasts indicated).
The wind speed, and direction was faster and more volatile than expected. OPPD called this, “one of the most severe storms we’ve seen in recent history.” Last night’s storm was so severe, it made national news – with reports of planes flipped at Eppley Field. And, as reported by US News and World Report, one meteorologist, Clint Aegeter, said, Omaha’s Eppley Airfield recorded a wind gust of 96 mph at one point during the storm. Aegeter said that would be the highest wind gust ever recorded at the airport, but he said it might not be accurate because of a power outage.
One resident told us she watched the damage unfurl in real-time from her porch, and there was no way it was “just 70 MPH”, and certainly not straight-line wind. Across the park from her house was the mangled arm of a sturdy oak tree that stood as proof of her testimony.
In our opinion, this was the strongest storm event since the hail barrage of June, 2014.
According to Live Storms Media, “Severe wind storm with constant lightning gets going near Blair Nebraska before moving into Omaha producing a 95 mph gusts at Eppley Airport. Very frequent lightning accompanied the severe gusts, as a power flash is noted while the power goes out. Several trees were down in the area and on south.”