MILLARD (KPTM) - A massive cleanup effort is underway in Southwest Omaha. An EF-2 tornado mowed a path of destruction beginning about 2:15 Sunday morning.
At least a hundred homes and businesses are damaged, a few dozen severely. In addition, there are lots of trees and power lines down all over the city. There were only a few very minor injuries.
Homeowners spent the day armed with chainsaws, after the tornado ripped trees from their roots and roofs off houses.
Most people had no warning. "Woke us up, looked out, saw everything coming down and it was just like they say, just like a freight train, loud as can be," said homeowner Steve Albracht. He is one of the lucky ones; part of the wood fence in his backyard is gone.
One street over, homeowners show us the insides of their waterlogged homes. It was a terrifying night. "The second go round, about 4 minutes after, is when the sirens all came on and everyone scrambled to get back into their homes, if they had one left," said resident Denise Horton.
Omaha police continue to limit access from 132nd to 138th between Harrison and Discovery. Officers say it's still a dangerous area and congestion has hampered cleanup efforts. "There's a lot of kids running around, a lot of heavy equipment, trucks, so we just ask anyone who's not a resident of the area or a volunteer to stay away from the area," said Ofc. Michael Pecha of the Omaha Police Department.
City workers spent the day clearing debris, as hundreds of contractors, volunteers and neighbors did the same. Many people just came out to lend a hand. "They just came over and started helping from all over. I work with some of them and some of them are my wife's brothers and neighbors, everybody just pitched in and really helped a lot," said homeowner Ed Powell.
Emergency management officials, as well as the Omaha Police and Fire Departments, closed their Mobile Command Center at 136th and Discovery Drive around 8 p.m. Sunday night. It will reopen 8 a.m. Monday.
Officers will be out throughout the night, monitoring the situation and limiting travel through the area. Police say they'll continue to devote all the necessary resources to the area until they deem it safe.
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