'Downburst', Not Tornado, in Sidney
8/6/2012 (Updated 11:26:58 PM)SIDNEY -- Judging by the extent of the damage, many people thought that a tornado had hit Sidney on Sunday night.
However the National Weather Service has determined that it was a downburst, with top winds of 85 miles per hour.
The National Weather Service surveyors figured out what happened by assessing property damage and the pattern of damage.
"The two main things we look for were how strong were the winds and what caused it," said Erik Hayden of the National Weather Service.
That information could help keep people safer the next time a storm moves through.
"It's important for us to determine what happened because we're constantly trying to look back at how we can improve our warning," said Hayden. "Our goal is to give as much advance warning so that you can take that appropriate action-- five, ten, fifteen minutes-- so you know the storm is coming, you know to get inside, downstairs away from the windows."
The residents of a house in the area say that it was a miracle that a tree fell between their house and the garage, mostly damaging the roof-- and leaving them unharmed.
"We're very fortunate," said homeowner Edward Winnick. "We got trouble, but it could've been a lot worse."
While the weather service continues to study what happened, property owners are busy trying to put things back together.
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