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Caught on camera: Unusual dual tornadoes ravage Nebraska town

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PILGER, Neb. (AP) — Dual tornadoes that touched down in a small town about 100 miles northwest of Omaha killed a 5-year-old and injured at least 19 people, some of them critically, authorities in Nebraska said.

It happened in Pilger, a community of about 350.

The National Weather Service said the twin twisters touched down within roughly a mile of each other. Officials don’t expect to know the intensity of the unusual tornadoes until later Tuesday.

“Two tornados touching down at the same time isn’t rare, but two of that magnitude is certainly something that we don’t see very often,” PIX11 meteorologist Rachel Frank said. “Typically they’re very thin, rope tornadoes, so to see such large tornadoes together, certainly, is a scary sight.”

A county commissioner says more than half the town was wiped out by the storm. Many homes were damaged and the structures that were demolished included the co-op grain bins. A sheriff said a school is beyond repair.

The injured had to be taken to three regional hospitals, including a trauma center in Omaha.

Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman declared a state of emergency. The National Guard is preparing to assist local emergency responders and help with the cleanup.

Pilger was evacuated for the night and roads were closed by state police. Some residents were taken to a shelter at a school in a nearby town.