OMAHA, Neb. — Powerful winds and heavy rain have ripped through eastern Nebraska, leaving behind damaged homes, farms and businesses and thousands of people without electricity.

Winds gusted to 85 mph at the National Weather Service office in Valley on Tuesday night, and an 80 mph gust was reported in Papillion.

National Weather Service meteorologist Cathy Zapotocny (ZAP’-uh-tahk-nee) says 2.1 inches of rain was reported Tuesday evening at Swanton in Saline County, but more rain was expected.

A funnel cloud was spotted 3 miles (5 kilometers) northeast of Exeter, but no damage was reported. Authorities say lightning blew siding and bricks off a home in Lincoln.

The high winds knocked trees and limbs onto power lines in several areas. The Omaha Public Power District says nearly 1,700 customers remained without power Wednesday morning.

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