Snow, Tornadoes in Great Plains

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The storm system that covered parts of Wyoming and South Dakota in heavy, wet snow also brought powerful thunderstorms and tornadoes to the Great Plains, causing millions of dollars in damage.
 
The storm dumped at least 33 inches of snow in a part of South Dakota's scenic Black Hills, National Weather Service meteorologist Eric Helgeson said Friday afternoon. Thunderstorms rolled across the Plains later in the day, with witnesses reporting tornadoes in Nebraska, Iowa and South Dakota.
 
No one died in the tornadoes, reports said, but snow was blamed in the deaths of three people who were killed in a traffic accident on U.S. 20 in northeast Nebraska.
 
Forecasters said the cold front would eventually combine with other storms to make for a wild - and probably very wet - weekend for much of the central U.S. and Southeast.
 
Wayne, Neb., saw some of the greatest damage from tornadoes where at least four homes were destroyed in the town of 9,600.
 
Mayor Ken Chamberlain said at least 15 people were injured, but none was life-threatening and seven stemmed from two separate car accidents. Chamberlain said all of the residents in the northeast Nebraska town were accounted for, but the storm caused millions of dollars in damage to an area that includes businesses and the city's softball complex.
 
In northwest Iowa, a mile-wide tornado touched down near the town of Cherokee, cutting a 2- to 3-mile path through farmland but missing any population centers, the state Department of Homeland Security said.
 
Meteorologists with the National Weather Service said they were still trying to figure out exactly how many tornadoes touched down Friday evening.
 

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Associated Press

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