DICKINSON COUNTY, Kan. UPDATE: 5/26/15 - 4:20 p.m. - After completing its survey of damage in Dickinson County, the National Weather Service now says the county was struck by an EF-4 tornado.
The NWS says the tornado touched down at 7:10 p.m. on Wednesday and traveled around 26 miles across the county.
The tornado passed just south of Chapman, leaving behind significant damage. At least one farmstead was destroyed.
The tornado ended near the Dickinson-Geary county line around 8:40 p.m.
No injuries were reported with this tornado.
UPDATE: 5/25/16 - 1 p.m. - The National Weather Service says it's survey crew has found damage consistent with an EF3 tornado in Dickinson County.
The NWS says winds in the area are estimated to have been about 165 miles per hour.
Surveyors are continuing to survey damage in the Chapman area where at least 15-20 homes were either damaged or destroyed.
No injuries have been reported at this time.
Severe weather fired in central Kansas Wednesday evening, producing a large, destructive tornado that left behind extensive damage in Dickinson County.
A wedge tornado about half of one mile wide was first confirmed in northeast Saline County and was tracking east at about 20 mph. A little before 7:30 p.m. people in extreme southeast Ottawa County and northwest Dickinson County were told to take cover, especially people north of I-70. The large tornado continued to track east from Dickinson County.
The American Red Cross has set up a shelter at the Abilene Community Center for those displaced by the storms. The State Emergency Operations have set up a task force to assist with search and rescue operations. The Kansas Highway Patrol is helping with door-to-door welfare checks in affected areas.
Christopher Barnhart with the Tallgrass Lodge says they have lodging available for those who lost their homes in the storm. The lodge is located South of Old 40 North of the river on Nail Road in Enterprise. Call, text 785-337-0572 if you need to stay there.
Another round of severe storms are possible, starting Thursday afternoon. Much of central Kansas should be on alert for potentially severe storms that could include hail, damaging winds and tornadoes.
Storm Team 12 will have your up-to-the minute coverage throughout the day Thursday. You'll be able to follow the interactive radar and updates from Always on Storm Team 12 at www.kwch.com and on Always On 12.2.
You can follow the progression of the severe weather that tracked through parts of north central into northeast Kansas Wednesday night through the updates below.
9:35 p.m. : A tornado warning has been issued for northeast Morris County and Wabaunsee County, just outside of the KWCH viewing area. This storm, well north of Council Grove, is moving east at about 25 mph. The threat has passed Dickinson County.
Storms are not forecast for the Wichita area and south central Kansas until tomorrow (Thursday).
UPDATE--9:20 p.m.: From north Dickinson County, about three miles south of Talmage, Eyewitness News reporter Anna Auld reports a rural home and garage was destroyed and vehicles were damaged. The damage included a tractor tire that had blown through the siding of the house.
UPDATE-- 9:10 p.m.: The county administrator in Dickinson County tells us several homes are destroyed across the county. A search is underway for anyone who may be trapped in a home or injured. To this point, no injuries have been reported.
UPDATE -- 8:50 p.m.: A large tornado remains on the ground as it continues to track east out of the KWCH viewing area into western portions of Geary County. Storm Team 12 is continuing to monitor the storm.
UPDATE--8:35 p.m.: Emergency management in Dickinson County confirms at least 20 homes have been heavily damaged or destroyed, mostly north of Abliene in the areas of K-15 and K-18.
UPDATE--8:30 p.m.: Larger hail, about nickel-sized, has been reported in Chapman. Damage has been confirmed near Champman. The tornado is southeast of Chapman, continuing to move east. Power lines are down blocking Old 40 and structures damaged or destroyed.
UPDATE-- 8:20 p.m. Kansas Highway Patrol Trooper Todd Hileman reports troopers are checking multiple homes damaged in north Dickinson County. A tornado emergency has been declared for Chapman.
UPDATE--8:05 p.m.: The large tornado is now about five miles west of Chapman, continuing to move east. A number of spotters and chasers are monitoring the tornado that is maintaining its strength. It could reach Chapman by about 8:21 p.m. People in the community should be in their storm shelters.
UPDATE: 7:54 p.m.-- The Dickinson County Sheriff's Office has confirmed damage from a tornado that remains on the ground north of I-70, about six miles north of Abilene. A home was destroyed about five miles northwest of Abilene.
This storm is on track to reach Chapman within the next half hour. People in Chapman are encouraged to take cover. The tornado warning in Dickinson County has been extended until 8:30 p.m.
UPDATE--7:43 pm. : Radar shows the storm with a large tornado in Dickinson County picking up debris. This storm, about five to six miles north of Abilene, continues to track east.
The National Weather Service confirms damage from a tornado in Ottawa County.