Straight line winds down power lines, rip off roofs in Gray, Finney counties

Straight line winds knocked down power lines in Gray County during a Feb. 26 storm that slammed...
Straight line winds knocked down power lines in Gray County during a Feb. 26 storm that slammed parts of southwest Kansas.(KWCH)
Published: Feb. 27, 2023 at 5:43 PM CST
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GRAY COUNTY, Kan. (KWCH) - The bulk of damage in Sunday night’s storms that slammed southwest Kansas was centered in Liberal where the night’s lone tornado hit. Northeast of the most populated area impacted, straight line winds toppled power lines, including a stretch of unpaved road between Ingalls and Montezuma in Gray County. To the west, the Garden City Fire Department reported downed power lines led to a closure of a stretch of U.S. Highway 50 between Garden City and Holcomb.

The Garden City Police Department also reported strong winds with gusts up to 80 mph destroying a shop building, heavily damaging at least one home and blowing over two camper travel trailers. The fire department reported working several incidents with no major injuries reported.

In Gray County, the winds also topped irrigation pivots and ripped off metal roofs on some outbuildings, scattering the debris into fields as far as a few miles away. Gray County Emergency Preparedness Director Sean Wendel said considering the threat Sunday night with the Liberal tornado to the southwest, Gray County collectively is fortunate to have been spared from the worst of the storm.

“Other than a few sprinklers getting tipped over and a couple of buildings getting relocated, (downed) power poles, we lucked out,” he said.

On a positive note from Sunday night, the storms brought much-needed rain to southwest Kansas. Wendel didn’t have a total, but said the area needs more to break the drought.