A line of fast-moving storms swept through eastern Wyoming and the Nebraska Panhandle late Saturday afternoon, bringing brief heavy rains and sustained high winds that left damage and injuries in its wake.
A man and woman riding a motorcycle on Highway 26 were struck by metal debris from a residential roof just east of Mitchell around 5:40 p.m. The impact caused them to be thrown off the vehicle, and both were taken to Regional West with injuries.
Damage was scattered, with a number of trees toppled by winds reaching 73 mph, with several reported hitting houses in Scottsbluff, as well as one that partially blocked traffic southbound on Avenue I south of 18th Street.
A number of roofs were observed to have been pulled off their structures, including at the former Stable Club that houses R&S Auto, and a welding shop and mobile home in McGrew.
The winds were also strong enough to apparently topple the temporary shipping container structure that was holding the screen used for the Midwest Theater’s Pop-up Drive-Up, as the containers were observed to be laid over on their side. At the time of publication, it was not know if or how that damage would impact the opening of the Midwest Theater’s Midwest Skyview Drive-in slated to open June 12 adjacent to the Western Nebraska Regional Airport.
High winds were also responsible for a number of power outages in the region, as lines slapped together and arced with the arrival of the storms. In Scottsbluff, NPPD officials reported about 3,300 customers were left without power. Crews had to wait for the storms to pass before starting repairs, and as of shortly after 7 p.m. less than 400 remained without electricity.