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LIVE BLOG: Storms knock power in central Kansas, spin up landspouts up north

Tuesday afternoon multiple landspout sightings led to a tornado warning in Decatur and Norton...
Tuesday afternoon multiple landspout sightings led to a tornado warning in Decatur and Norton counties.(Cynthia Hadley)
Published: May. 17, 2022 at 7:10 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH/AP) - 12:50 a.m. (Wednesday) A severe thunderstorm warning has been canceled for Sedgwick, Butler, Cowley and Harper counties. Strong winds roared through about an hour ago causing some minor damage and power outages.

Sedgwick County dispatchers say they received the report of a tree that had fallen on a home in the 800 block of W. Dayton. No one was hurt and no structural damage was reported. Dispatchers in Saline County said damage was limited to trees and some power outages as well. About 4,500 customers remain without power in both Sedgwick and Saline counties due to the storm, according to the Evergy Outage Map.

Jewell Crocker shared this photo with KWCH saying that “the wind gust split our tree in half right in our front yard! South Wichita.”

12:20 a.m. (Wednesday) More than 4,000 customers are without power in central Kansas, according to the Evergy Outage Map. In Salina, power was knocked out to 2,963 customers as strong winds moved through. A wind gust of 58 mph was reported in the area. A similar wind gust was reported about an hour later at the Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport in Sedgwick County.

There was a report of broken power poles four miles southeast of the airport. Power was knocked out to more than 700 people in Clearwater.

There were also reports of shingles blown off homes about three miles northwest of Oaklawn. Storm Team 12 continues to track the storm as it moves through the area.

Midnight: A wind gust of 58 mph has been reported at the Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport. A severe thunderstorm warning has been issued for Butler, Cowley, Sedgwick and Sumner counties until 1 a.m.

11:30 p.m. A severe thunderstorm warning has been issued for Reno County until midnight. The storm is capable of producing 30 mph winds. Law enforcement in Marion County also reported a gust of up to 60 mph north of Florence. Strong winds of up to 58 mph have been reported in Saline County. There have also been reports of tree damage in that area. Storm Team 12 Chief Meteorologist Ross Janssen says storms appear to be weakening as they head into south-central Kansas.

10:20 p.m. The thunderstorm warnings continue to pop up from Ness City clear out to northeast Kansas. Winds gusting up to 60 to 65 mph are possible with these storms. In central Kansas, the strongest wind gust reported in Saline County has been 53 mph. Small hail is also possible with these storms. The storms will move east and southeast into south and south-central in the next couple of hours. More storms are possible Wednesday evening in southwest Kansas.

9:10 p.m. The National Weather Service in Wichita has received a report of a 75 mph wind gust at the airport in Russell. Those located along I-70 should prepare for damaging winds over the next 20 minutes.

Storm Team 12 Chief Meteorologist Ross Janssen says the strong winds could result in some downed tree branches, power poles and possible power outages.

Petty Hernandez submitted video of a landspout that spun up near Norcatur earlier this afternoon. He said he was working on an oil rig when he captured the video. The landspout led to a tornado warning in parts of Decatur and Norton counties. While it may look like a tornado, Storm Team 12 Chief Meteorologist Ross Janssen says the difference is that a landspout is not connected to a supercell thunderstorm.

8:35 p.m. A severe thunderstorm watch has been issued for parts of Kansas and Missouri until 4 a.m. Sedgwick, Butler, Harvey, McPherson, Marion and Chase counties are included in this watch. The National Weather Service in Wichita says a line of strong to severe storms to impact parts of central Kansas through mid-evening.

Storm Team 12 Chief Meteorologist Ross Janssen says the main threat will be strong winds. Storms are expected to impact the Wichita metro area between 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. They will gradually begin to weaken after 2 a.m. He says most of the severe weather will be gone by Wednesday morning.

8 p.m. A tornado warning just expired for parts of Gove County. A storm chaser spotted a brief tornado touchdown along I-70, west of Quinter and east of Grainfield. No damage was reported with this touchdown. Large hail can still be expected, up to one inch in diameter for the area along with winds of up to 65 mph.

As the threat of severe weather increases into the evening across Kansas, one twister was captured on camera Tuesday afternoon in the northwest part of the state.

Several people captured photos of a landspout which led to a tornado warning in Decatur and Norton counties. Residents also reported dime to pea-size hail from the storm.

The National Weather Service in Goodland said scattered thunderstorms in the area could also pack wind gusts of up to 60 mph and large hail. High winds could lead to blowing dust and reduced visibility near the Kansas-Colorado border as thunderstorms move into Kit Carson and Cheyenne counties in Colorado.

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