Large hail damages vehicles, knocks out power in Box Butte County

ALLIANCE - Severe thunderstorms, that spawned three tornado warnings from the National Weather Service across the Nebraska Panhandle Friday evening, delivered a blow of strong winds and large hail in Alliance.

Hail nearly the size of softballs damaged property and smashed out car windows, according to reports submitted to News Channel Nebraska. Two storms, one after another, also caused a large portion of the city to be without power.

The Alliance Airport registered a wind gust of 86 mph. 

A 115,000-volt Tri-State transmission line from Ogallala, feeding Panhandle Rural Electric Membership Association (PREMA) substations in Arthur and Hyannis, suffered structure damage during the severe weather. Officials were able to re-energize the Arthur substation, but Hyannis remains off.

"We attempted to back-feed Hyannis from Lakeside but the line would not hold," PREMA said in a statement Saturday. "We are patrolling this sub-transmission line by ground and by air to determine the amount of damage. We know of at least two poles on the ground."

They also tried to feed the Hyannis area from Arthur, but discovered they have at least 25 poles on the ground.

If you see downed power lines, you're asked to stay away and call PREMA at (308) 762-1311.

Storms damaged wheat crop, flooded low-lying areas and downed power poles in Kimball County.

The Fur Trade Days Carnival in Chadron closed two hours early because of threatening weather. The carnival reopens Saturday at 3 p.m.

The severe weather also halted baseball games at the Area 7 Junior Legion Tournaments in Chadron. Play resumes Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m.