Storms Knock Down Limbs, Power Lines | Some May Be In Dark Thru Friday

By  | 
View Map

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW)-- Westar Energy says it could be Friday evening before everyone has power back on following Thursday morning storms that ended with a blast of wind.

The sudden strong winds wreaked havoc in Topeka and around Northeast Kansas, knocking down trees and causing downed power lines.

Westar says more than 12,000 customers were affected at some point during the storms. By 6:30 pm Thursday, it was down to about 2600. Of those, 840 were in Saline County where the storm took down 24 poles. Westar said it could be 7 pm Friday before power is fully restored there. In the Topeka area, just under 400 customers remained in the dark. Restoration efforts around the Capital City could take until 5 pm Friday with many downed wires reported.

Shawnee County Dispatch confirmed at least eight different "road hazards" created by the strong winds. Those included trees limbs blocking the road near SW 27th and Burlingame and a leaning utility pole in the 3100 block of SE Adams.

Emergency responders also were called to a home near 15th & Jewell where a large tree fell into a garage. No one was injured.

The wind gust happened around 10 a.m. Thursday following a strong storm system that brought heavy rain to the area. A high wind warning was issued earlier Thursday morning, warning of the possibility of 70+ mph winds as the rain came to an end.

What happened Thursday morning? WIBW Meteorologists explains it this way:

"The shower and thunderstorm complex (Mesoscale Convective System, MCS) from this morning produced a very rare Wake Low behind the rain. In the wake of the morning thunderstorms, areas of high and low pressure were formed. Winds blow from high to low pressure and the extreme pressure gradient (difference in high and low pressure centers) created the stronger winds. This morning a very high pressure gradient formed and resulted in 60+mph that caused some damage and power outages."

Posted by Greg Palmer, Melissa Brunner and Chris Fisher