I-70 reopened after severe storms in western KS

(Source: Sharol Wilkins)

ELLIS COUNTY, Kan. (KWCH) Wednesday, August 14, 2019

I-70 has reopened after strong storms Tuesday night in western Kansas.

More than 7,000 people were without power in parts of Ellis, Rooks and Rush counties and Interstate 70 was closed between Hays and WaKeeney after strong storms rolled through western Kansas Tuesday evening.

Storm Team 12 reports 80 mph winds blew through the area, blowing over at least 20 semis and knocking down several high-voltage power lines over those semis along I-70.

In the city of Hays, the roof of a church was blown off and landed on a parked car.

Tiger Media at Fort Hays State University also reports extensive damage to the Akers Energy Center which is the energy plant.

Residents in Hays reported receiving strong winds and torrential rain, causing street flooding that left several vehicles stranded. It was a similar situation in the city of Ellis and parts of Ellis County.

As of 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, about 7,800 people in Ellis County and surrounding counties were without power.

Gradually, storms did begin to weaken Tuesday night, but not before leaving the widespread damage. Storms retained some strength, but fell below severe status as they approached south central Kansas.