Storms, tornadoes hit parts of Kansas




Special to The Telegram

A large storm system moved across the Plains and upper Midwest over the weekend, with several tornadoes hitting across parts of Kansas.

The roof and walls of a home were blown away when a tornado briefly touched down Saturday evening two miles south of Rozel on K-156. The residents escaped unharmed.

Storm chasers reported the damage to the National Weather Service in Dodge City, according to Ray Burgert, meteorologist.

Reports of damage from hail and wind, accompanying several short-lived tornadoes, were still coming into the NWS office in Dodge City just after 9 p.m. Saturday, as the severe storm made its way east into Reno County.

There were about six reports of tornadoes in Pawnee and Ellis counties, Burgert said. And they were still receiving information regarding the extent of the damage from the storm system that had been predicted all day as strong possibility for the region.

"We have some reports of power lines down," Burgert said. "We have unofficial reports of hail 2-inches in diameter southeast of Ransom in Ness County."

About 4 p.m., golf-ball size hail developed at Wakeeney and 3 inches of rain fell in Ness and Ellis counties.

In Pawnee County, six miles north of Sanford, a tornado as wide as a stove pipe was reported.

Storm chasers reported rotation in the clouds in Edwards, Pawnee and Stafford counties on Saturday evening. However, dispatch in Stafford County said they hadn't received any reports of the rotation touching the ground, or any reports of damage.

Earlier in the afternoon, Reno County Sheriff Randy Henderson and the Hutchinson Police Department issued weather warnings that severe storms would be possible in the region Saturday evening. By mid-afternoon, the entire region from the Colorado border to Harvey County was in a tornado watch until 11 p.m.

The sultry weather helped build the storms. In Dodge City the temperature soared to 102 for the first time this year, just behind the dry line, which helped build the storm system. Liberal reached the 100- degree mark.

Meanwhile as the storm reached central Kansas, Reno County Dispatch received numerous reports from Nickerson of downed power lines, uprooted trees and a turned over mobile home. There were no reports of injuries. Dispatch was recommending residents watch the weather and take precautions.

More storms rolled across parts of the state Sunday afternoon, including a tornado that touched down near Wichita's Mid-Continent Airport, according to The Associated Press. Officials said there were few reports of damage or injuries.

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