Severe storms cause damage in parts of Kansas

Much of Kansas faced another round of severe storms Thursday, featuring damaging winds, heavy rainfall, large hail and isolated, brief tornadoes.

You can recapture our coverage as storms fired up and intensified with the updates below:

FRIDAY A.M. UPDATE:
The Speedway in Salina took a direct hit from a tornado late last night. That storm ripped the roof off the press box and snapped light poles around the track.

No one was hurt, but the owner tells us it could be a couple of weeks before they're back to racing at the track.

10 p.m.:

The severe threat has passed for most Kansans, but late Thursday night comes with a lot of storms in the area, some with a lot of rainfall. There is also plenty of lightning with many of these storms. A pocket of some heavy rain east and southeast of Wichita continues to move east at about 30 to 35 mph.

South of Wichita, we're also watching a line of storms moving through Harper County. These storms are capable of producing winds of up to about 50 mph and are moving east at about 40 mph. There is also a lot of rain and lightning with these storms.

In central Kansas, thunderstorms continue, but the severe threat has ended for the area from Barton to Saline counties that saw a few tornadoes briefly touch down.

Storms in western Kansas also include plenty of rain, but no severe threat as we move through Thursday night.

The stage is set for another round of what could be some active weather Friday. For south central and southeast Kansas, we're looking at the threat of large hail and strong winds in some areas.

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9:20 p.m.:

The last batch of severe weather we've had this evening has moved out of Greenwood County and is continuing to move east. Winds of about 60 mph were reported near Eureka.

Some of the most intense thunderstorms in the KWCH coverage area are in Sumner County. The biggest threat is winds of up to about 50 mph. These storms continue to move east at about 40 mph.

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8:35 p.m.:

Midwest Energy reported about 2,000 customers without power after tornado-producing storms. Most of the outages are in Barton, Rice and Stafford counties. The company says that number, reported about 6:30 p.m., was likely to grow.

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8:10 p.m.:

Stronger thunderstorms in Butler County have shifted into Greenwood County as the first round of severe weather moves out of the area. This storm includes heavy rainfall and wind gusts up to about 60 mph.

A severe thunderstorm warning for portions of Stafford County, northwestern Pratt County, Edwards and Pawnee counties is in effect until at least 8:30 p.m. These storms, moving east, also have strong winds.

We're also learning more about damage from tonight's storms, including to the Salina Speedway where they say they took a direct hit from a powerful, tornado and high-wind-producing storm in the area.

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7:45 p.m.:

There are currently no tornado warnings in Kansas, but the threat for more severe weather is not over with warnings in effect for counties in northwest Oklahoma.

Most of the damage we've seen in Kansas so far is tree damage. This includes uprooted trees and broken limbs. We've also seen street flooding in a few communities including Great Bend and Pratt. What structural damage we've seen includes the toppling of a shed outside a True Value store in Newton.


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7 p.m.:

The tornado warning for Saline County has been allowed to expire. The warning continues for southeast Ottawa County. In Pratt, damage from about 70 mph winds includes a large tree uprooted on the edge of a city park. There are also down tree limbs in the area.

6:50 p.m.:

The biggest concern for the Wichita area is winds up to about 60 mph. There is not much in the way of large hail in Sedgwick County. The local batch of storms continues to move north/northeast.

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6:40 p.m.:

There has not been a tornado reported in the city of Salina, but there is a report of about 73 mph winds in the area along a stretch of Interstate 70.

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6:37 p.m.:

A severe thunderstorm warning is now in effect for Sumner and Sedgwick counties. Primary threats are about quarter-sized hail and winds of about 60 mph.

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6:34 p.m.:

A rain-wrapped TORNADO was reported a half mile west of the Salina Airport, moving east.
A TORNADO WARNING is now in effect for Ottawa and Dickinson counties. This does not include the city of Minneapolis.

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6:25 p.m.:

A TORNADO WARNING is now in effect for western sections of Clark County and eastern portions of Meade County, close to the Fowler area. This warning is in place until 7 p.m. due to radar-indicated rotation.

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6:20 p.m.:

With the first round of storms moving into the Wichita metro area, Eyewitness News reporter Jacob Albracht reports damage to signs and tree limbs near the bridge at Lincoln and Interstate 135.

In Rice County, there is a report of a semi being blown over, blocking traffic on 20th Road, east of Lyons.

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6:15 p.m.:

TORNADO SIRENS are now going off in the city of Salina with a storm moving toward the city from the southwest. There is no tornado on the ground at this time.

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6:05 p.m.:

From near Great Bend, Devon Fasbinder reports another round of heavy rain coming down.

Tornado warnings remain in effect for Barton, Ellsworth and Saline counties, but for now, there is no report of a tornado.

Heavy rain in the Dodge City area has a flash flood warning in effect for Ford County until 12:06 a.m. tomorrow (Friday).

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6 p.m.:

TORNADO WARNINGS continue across central Kansas with a new warning issued for western Saline County. A deputy near Brookville reported spotting rotation. Sirens are being sounded in that area.

In south central Kansas, the National Weather Service in Wichita reports down tree limbs in the city from storms moving into the area.

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5:53 p.m.:

Another brief rope tornado was reported about two miles north of Great Bend as Barton County remains in a TORNADO WARNING until at least 6:45 p.m.

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5:50 p.m.:

Rumbles of thunder can be heard outside the KWCH station near 37th North and Hillside in Wichita.

The tornado warning for southeast Ford County has been canceled.

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5:46 p.m.:

THE TORNADO WARNING for Barton County is in effect until at least 6:45 p.m. This area includes an area southwest of Hoisington. People there should take shelter.


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5:39 p.m.:

A NEW TORNADO WARNING is in effect for Ellsworth County. This storm is starting to get more defined as it passes southeast of Ellsworth, ramping up in intensity. No tornado has been confirmed for this area northwest of Kanopolis Lake. Anyone in eastern Ellsworth County, in the area of Kanopolis Lake, should take shelter. This warning is in effect until 6:45 p.m.

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5:35 p.m.:

Another tornado is confirmed about six miles north of Great Bend, just south of Albert. We continue to watch as these storms move east. This storm is expected to say northwest of Great Bend.

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5:34 p.m:

Two tornado warnings remain in effect for Ford County. One warning is for the southeast part of the county down into Clark County. The other is for south central and central portions of the county. Sirens are going off in Dodge City as a precaution, but there is no tornado spotted.

These storms are moving north, northeast at about 40 mph. People northeast of Dodge City are advised to take shelter.

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5:28 p.m.:

The tornado warning for Clark and Comanche counties is allowed to expire. A brief tornado was reported about one mile north and west of the Great Bend Airport. People around Great Bend, in the Clafflin area, the Holyrood area and anyone south of Ellsworth should be keeping on alert, but no large, destructive tornadoes have been reported.

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5:23 p.m.:

For now, it's just rain, but we do know that at about 4:45 p.m., a trained spotter reported a tornado did touch down south of Medicine Lodge. The tornado warning for Barber County has been canceled.

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5:20 p.m.:

TORNADO WARNING for Clark and Ford counties is in effect until at least 6:03 p.m. A funnel was spotted near the Bloom area in eastern Ford County.

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5:10 p.m.:

A NEW TORNADO WARNING is in place for Rice County into southern sections of Ellsworth County. Sirens are being sounded in the Bushton area.

A funnel is reported in the Hardtner area in Barber County with rotation in an ongoing tornado warning. In Kiowa County, people in the Mullinville area are advised to take shelter. Isolated, brief tornadoes have been reported.

The tornado warning for Clark and Comanche counties is in effect until 5:30.

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5 p.m.:

Two new tornado warnings are in effect for Kiowa County and Barton County. Radar indicates rotation for Kiowa County and the warning includes Greensburg. The sirens are sounding in Greensburg. A rotating wall cloud was spotted west of town.

The Barton County area being impacted is north of Great Bend. This warning is in effect until 6:01 p.m.

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4:56 p.m:

A tornado warning for Barber County includes the Medicine Lodge area.

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4:45 p.m.:

The first tornado warning of the day is in effect for Rush and Pawnee counties until 6:08 p.m. There is rotation north of Larned, with the storm tracking north. It is expected to stay east of LaCrosse.

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4:40 p.m.:

A new thunderstorm warning is issued for Barton, Rice and Ellsworth counties until 5:45 p.m. The National Weather Service says another tornado is possible, but not eminent. The strongest part of this storm is expected northwest of Lyons.

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4:37 p.m.:

There was a tornado report three miles southeast of Seward at about 4:03 p.m. This was a brief touch down. A brief tornado was also reported just south of Great Bend at about 4:30 p.m.

Devon Fasbinder reports heavy rain and low visibility leading to traffic accidents in Great Bend.

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4:30 p.m.:

Some of the most intense storms in Kansas right now stretch from just northeast of Dodge City to the Great Bend area. Large hail is coming down near Great Bend. There is no rotation with these storms, but hail is as large as golf-ball-sized near Great Bend. Storms are moving north.

A severe thunderstorm warning for Kiowa and Comanche counties comes with about 60 mph winds near Protection.

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4:23 p.m.:

Pea to marble-sized hail is falling in the Great Bend area as a severe thunderstorm warning is in effect for Barton County until at least 5:17 p.m.

A severe thunderstorm warning for Hodgeman County is in effect until at least 5:23.

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4:15 p.m.

About half-dollar-sized hail has been reported in Seward in Stafford County. The counties of Pawnee, Rush and Edwards counties are in a severe thunderstorm warning until at least 5 p.m.

A severe thunderstorm warning for Clark and Ford counties is in effect until at least 5:13 p.m.

A tornado warning is in effect for Woods County in northwest Oklahoma.

In the Wichita area, winds are picking up.


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4 p.m.:

Storms continue to move up from Oklahoma where we have already seen one tornado this afternoon. There have been many reports of hail with severe thunderstorms in northwest Oklahoma. Storms are moving northeast at 30 to 40 mph.

A severe thunderstorm warning is also in place for northern Stafford County, clipping the northeast corner of Pawnee County. Storms are rapidly developing just north of St. John. Storms in this area are producing about quarter-sized hail and winds up to 60 mph.

These storms are headed for Barton County and could impact Great Bend by about 4:30 p.m.

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3:50 p.m.:

The Wichita Fire Department has been preparing for the expected storm all day This includes preparing emergency equipment they will need during sever weather. The fire department brought in additional firefighters available to serve on rescue teams.

The department says it is prepared to launch its action plan that will allow for additional resources and manpower to respond to calls in the city.

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3:35 p.m.:

Several communities have canceled events and services for Thursday night due to storms. You can see the list of cancellations here: CLOSINGS AND CANCELLATIONS .

The City of El Dorado says the basement of city hall (220 E.1st) is open with a tornado watch or warning. If the current tornado watch does develop into a warning, the city says the senior center (210 E. 2nd) and Fire Station 2 (2600 W. 6th) will also be open as public storm shelters.


The City of Maize has public tornado shelters at the Maize Community Building basement (Maize City Park, 401 S. Khedive) and the Maize City Hall basement (10100 W. Grady Ave.). At the community building, people area asked to enter on the lower level, east side of the building. At city hall, people are asked to enter by the flag poles.
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3:25 p.m.:

Several counties from southeast to central Kansas are in a tornado watch until 11 p.m. Included are the areas of Garden City, Liberal, Great Bend, Pratt, Salina, McPherson, Hutchinson, Wichita and Ark City. Counties included are Barber, Barton, Butler, Chase, Chautauqua, Clark, Comanche, Cowley, Edwards, Elk, Ellsworth, Finney, Ford, Gray, Greenwood, Harper, Harvey, Haskell, Hodgeman, Kingman, Kiowa, Marion, McPherson, Meade, Ness, Pawnee, Pratt, Reno, Rice, Rush, Saline, Sedgwick, Seward, Stafford and Sumner.


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3:20 p.m.:

Storm Team 12 says "everything comes into play today after 4 p.m." This includes tornadoes, large hail, damaging winds and possible localized flooding overnight.

Sedgwick County Emergency Management says during a tornado warning, people should take cover in the basement or the lowest level of their home or business. If there's no basement or lower level available, find an interior room without windows, such as a bathroom and put as many walls as you can between you and the storm.

If you're traveling on the Kansas Turnpike, the KTA reminds motorists they can seek shelter at toll booths. The state provides shelters near every tool booth along the turnpike.

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2:45 p.m.:

Storms are expected to fire up in Kansas by about 3;30 p.m. Stick with us through the afternoon and evening on ALWAYS ON STORM TEAM 12, and the the Storm Team 12 app.
Most of Kansas is in a flood watch through Saturday morning. Several counties in north Oklahoma are under a tornado watch.

In preparation for storms, the National Weather Service in Dodge City says the community shelter at Dodge City Community College is open. The severe high-risk area stretches from Dodge City to the Wichita area, north through the Hutchinson and Great Bend areas and down into northwest Oklahoma.

The National Weather Service in Wichita advises there will be three rounds of storms today, starting between 3 and 4 p.m.. Round No. 2 may pose the most significant threat, depending on several factors, and will start as early at 5 p.m. Round No. 3 could form between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.