Extensive cleanup effort underway after tornado hits Liberal

A Feb. 26 tornado heavily damaged several homes in Liberal, Kansas.
A Feb. 26 tornado heavily damaged several homes in Liberal, Kansas.(KWCH)
Published: Feb. 27, 2023 at 4:47 PM CST
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LIBERAL, Kan. (KWCH) - Following an early taste of severe weather in Kansas, many in the southwest part of the state are busy cleaning up after a tornado, large hill and strong winds slammed the area.

The town of Liberal saw some of the worst of it with homes heavily damaged and downed power lines. The tornado inflicted most of its damage on the southeast side of Liberal. That includes the home of Kelli Roberts who was moments away from disaster.

“It was really dark and cloudy and kind of ominous a little bit,” Roberts said.

She’s lived in Liberal for 35 years and said Sunday night’s storm was her first experience with a tornado.

“It was me and my father; I was sitting right there, in my chair, eating my dinner. The house started to shake and he told me to get downstairs,” Roberts said.

“A few moments later, a violent force arrived.

“We made it just in time. Because we were going down the stairs, and the roof goes ‘whoosh.’ It (made) a big ole smash and it was so loud.”

Roberts said going to the basement likely saved the lives of her and her father.