UPDATE: 2 deaths now linked to storm that spawned twin tornadoes - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: 2 deaths now linked to storm that spawned twin tornadoes in tiny NE town

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Courtesy: Aaron Rigsby/Live Storms Media Courtesy: Aaron Rigsby/Live Storms Media
PILGER, Neb. (AP) -- Officials say a second death has been linked to the storm that brought twin tornadoes to the tiny town of Pilger, Nebraska Monday.

Sheriff's officials originally said a 5-year-old girl was killed. Now, they say a motorist also died in a single vehicle accident near town as the storm rolled through the area.

The storm flattened dozens of homes in the tiny farming town. Many of its 350 residents left after the two twisters came through, and authorities have closed all roads into town. A county commissioner says, "More than half of the town is gone -- absolutely gone." He says nearly every home has some damage. Jerry Weatherholt describes the scene as "a complete mess."

 The sheriff estimates that 50 to 75 percent of Pilger was heavily damaged or destroyed, and that the school is probably beyond repair.

PILGER, Neb. (AP) -- At least one person was killed and 16 others were in critical condition on Monday after massive tornadoes swept through northeast Nebraska, destroying more than half of the town of Pilger, hospital and emergency officials said.

The National Weather Service said at least two twisters touched down within roughly a mile of each other. Emergency crews and residents spent the evening sorting through demolished homes and businesses in the town of about 350, roughly 100 miles northwest of Omaha.

Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman declared a state of emergency, and the National Guard was preparing to deploy to assist local emergency responders and help with the cleanup. The Nebraska Emergency Management Agency was expected to arrive in town Tuesday morning.

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