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NWS preliminary report: EF-4 tornado touched down in NE Kansas

"The roof is missing from this home, but Old Glory still waves," says Storm...
"The roof is missing from this home, but Old Glory still waves," says Storm Team 12 reporter Katie Johnston as she arrived in Linwood, Kan.(KWCH)
Published: May. 29, 2019 at 1:03 PM CDT
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4:30 p.m.

Kansas Governor Laura Kelly Wednesday issued a statement on the state's response to Tuesday night's destructive tornadoes. Kelly says the state "will be working closely" with local emergency management to get people impacted by the storms the support they need.

Full statement:

“My thoughts are with all Kansans impacted by the destructive tornadoes in Douglas, Leavenworth, Mitchell, Russell, Trego, and Wyandotte Counties last night. We will be working closely with your local emergency management personnel to get you the resources and support you need. “Kansas is experiencing a historic month of extreme weather – from tornadoes to heavy rain and flooding to severe thunderstorms. This is challenging for our emergency personnel and local officials across the state. I want to sincerely thank all of our local, state, federal partners and voluntary organizations who are working very hard, long hours to keep people safe, assist communities and give neighbors a place to shelter. The State of Kansas is grateful. “At times like this, it is absolutely critical that we put safety first and heed all warnings from local emergency management officials. Please stay away from damaged areas and allow emergency responders the space to do their jobs. We will continue to work with Major General Lee Tafanelli and the Kansas Division of Emergency Management as they coordinate resources to assess the damage and needs of these communities and deliver support. “As Kansans, we must look out for each other during this difficult time – we must do what we can to assist our friends and neighbors impacted by these devastating storms. Consider donating to or volunteering with the American Red Cross helping in the areas.”

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3 p.m.

The National Weather Service released its preliminary report regarding a destructive tornado that touched down in northeast Kansas Tuesday evening.

"The tornado developed in southwestern Douglas County Kansas and tracked to the east-northeast while strengthening. EF-3 damage occurred in northeastern Douglas County, then the storm gained strength and produced EF-4 damage in southern Leavenworth County Kansas," says the Kansas City office.

Douglas County reports the tornado resulted in no fatalities, 17 injuries, three of which remain hospitalized.

Around 160 houses, buildings and other structures had been searched by emergency personnel. An estimated 40 of those structures sustained heavy damage and around 25 had sustained moderate damage.

Nearly 3,900 Westar customers are currently without power. There are approximately 300 Westar workers in the area working to restore power.

In Leavenworth County, the town of Linwood sustained major damage. Three people were hurt, 50 structures and one business were damaged. Nineteen of those structures were destroyed.

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We're learning more about a tornado that spun up in Douglas County and moved into Leavenworth County Tuesday evening.

The National Weather Service first reported the tornado on the ground in Douglas County at 6 p.m. At 6:25 p.m., a tornado was reported on the ground in Leavenworth County at Alexander Road and Kansas 32.

Spotters reported that the tornado was about a mile and half wide. The tornado then tornado left Leavenworth County at Kansas 32 between Basehor and Bonner Springs.

The storm left behind a trail of damage south of Lawrence in Douglas County, the town of Linwood in Leavenworth County took a brunt of the impact. The Leavenworth County Emergency Management says 50 structures and one business were damaged. Nineteen of those structures were destroyed.

Westar Energy reports about 3,700 customers are without power in both Douglas and Leavenworth counties. The energy company says the tornado damaged about 200 poles down along the tornado's path.

"We have more than 120 linemen working today to restore power. We estimate afternoon of 5/30 before we can restore power to everyone who can still get it," Westar said on Twitter.

Leavenworth County says three people were hurt in the storm. All of the injuries reported were minor. There were reports of people that were trapped but there were no injuries.

The Douglas County GIS Department created this map that shows the path of the tornado that passed through Douglas County today. The yellow points are verified damage.

Posted by Douglas County, KS- Emergency Management on Tuesday, May 28, 2019