June 11, 2008: June 11, 2008 marks the tragic loss of 4 teenagers at a Boy Scout camp near Little Sioux, Iowa; 48 more were injured. The tragedy struck at the 1,800-acre camp about an hour north of downtown Omaha. An EF3 tornado, with 145 mph winds, descended on the remote camp, striking and leveling a cabin where campers had sought shelter as warnings of the storm circulated through the camp. A chimney at the cabin collapsed, sending heavy concrete blocks onto the Scouts. This was the worst of the storms that hit the Northern Plains. There were also two farms damaged from two different tornadoes, one near Spencer, Iowa and the other near Springfield, Minnesota. A nursing home was also damaged by a tornado in southern Salina, Kansas. There were over 300 reports of severe weather across the nation with 64 of those reports from tornado activity. There had been no basement or in-ground shelter at the camp when the tornado hit. The following year, the Boy Scouts Mid-America Council launched a major fundraising campaign to build emergency shelters at all of its camps. By 2013, two tornado shelters had been built at the camp, and a siren was added. The new structures have concrete walls, steel shutters and doors and emergency power backup, and were built to withstand an EF5 tornado.
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