Suspicious storms and tornadoes hit Kansas

An alleged tornado that hit parts of Kansas damaged several buildings, injured several people and left more than 6,500 people without power, officials said Saturday. Authorities said the suspicious tornado passed through southeastern parts of Wichita and Andover on Friday night.

Andover Fire Chief Chad Russell said during a Saturday morning news conference that 50 to 100 buildings were damaged in Sedgwick County, although it is not immediately known how many buildings were damaged in Andover.

Russell said that in some neighborhoods the houses “were completely destroyed.” He added that “there was no one we know of waiting for us to do rescues”.

Authorities said only a few injuries were reported. In Sedgwick County, three people were injured, including a woman who suffered serious injuries. Russell said no injuries have been reported in Butler County, but a secondary assessment will take place Saturday morning.

APTOPIX Yankees Royals Baseball
People walk through a rain-soaked parking lot after a baseball game between the Kansas City Royals and the New York Yankees on Friday, April 29, 2022, in Kansas City, Missouri. The game was canceled after eight innings due to weather.

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He said some neighborhoods were “damaged enough that houses were completely torn down” and cited areas that had suffered “very serious damage”.

The city also suffered damage, which undermined “some of our efforts,” Russell said. Other buildings allegedly damaged included Dr. Jim Farha Andover YMCA and Prairie Creek Elementary School.

Governor Laura Kelly declared a state of disaster emergency for the hardest-hit areas. The statement makes state resources available to assist local jurisdictions with response and recovery efforts in affected areas across the state.

Large hail was reported in several cities on the plains. Softball-sized hail was seen near Holbrook, Nebraska, and Enterprise, Kansas, according to the National Weather Service and storm watchers.

Meteorologist Reynolds Wolf of The Weather Channel said Saturday morning that heavy storms are expected from southern Illinois to the southern plains. One to two inches of rain is possible by Sunday in parts of the plains, and much of the Midwest could also receive an inch of rain.

Thunderstorms and heavy thunderstorms are possible on Sunday further east in parts of Kentucky, West Virginia and Virginia.

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