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Damaging winds pelting area

The First National Bank sign is strapped to a sign truck preventing it from blowing over into Broadway.

Blowing dust looking at downtown Bridgeport, captured by webcam at Panhandle Coop.

Very strong winds pelting western Nebraska and eastern Wyoming have caused some power outages, damaged at least one home, and closed some roads.

The strong winds damaged the sign at the First National Bank location at 20th and Broadway location in Scottsbluff. Mike Ferguson with Ferguson Signs says the "gut busting wind" broke the 2" bolts in the concrete on the west side of the sign,which caused it to lean the east.

Ferguson "lassoed" the top of the sign with a strap and hooked it to his truck in order to stabilize it. The Scottsbluff Fire Department provided their aerial truck to help Ferguson get the job down. Ferguson planned to remove the sign Tuesday and repair it.

The outside lanes of 20th Street and Broadway have been blocked off at the intersection.

The winds began about noon in eastern Wyoming and spread into the western Nebraska Panhandle about 1 p.m. The winds are producing widespread blowing dirt, which is hampering travel.

Law enforcement officials in Torrington report that one trailer house was damaged by the winds, and numerous accidents occurred due to the strong winds and reduced visibilities.

The blowing dirt was so dense that law enforcement authorities were unable to respond to some of the accidents.

Officials closed U.S. Highway 85 in both directions between Wyoming Highways 152 and 161, Silvertip and Torrington. Several southeast Wyoming roads were also to light weight and high profile vehicles.

Peak wind gusts have been in excess of 60 MPH in many locations.

High wind warnings continue for the area until midnight.

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