Weekend Storms Cause Structural Damage in at Least Five Counties

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(RELEASE)-- Kansas Division of Emergency Management urges Kansans to stay on alert for more storms after at least five Kansas counties received damage from tornadoes and strong winds over the weekend.

“We were fortunate that no one was hurt in the storms that hit the state over the weekend, but these storms along with the deadly tornados in Oklahoma Sunday, are a good reminder to all of us to be prepared and to heed the warnings of local officials,” said Angee Morgan, deputy director of KDEM.

In reports to KDEM, local emergency management officials reported a few homes and buildings damaged in Sedgwick and Lyon Counties Sunday. Similar damage was reported by officials in Pawnee, Rush and Washington Counties during Saturday’s storms.

The National Weather Service in Wichita determined an EF1 tornado hit the southwest side of the city before 4 p.m. on Sunday. It was a half mile wide and was on the ground about 4.5 miles before lifting about two miles south of the Wichita Mid-Continent Airport. Hail damage and localized flooding also caused problems. Winds took down tree limbs, power lines and power poles causing more than 11,000 Westar customers to lose power in Wichita.

A tornado also caused damage in rural Lyon County at approximately 5:40 p.m. The tornado touched down south of Emporia causing some damage to homes and buildings as well as downed tree limbs, power poles and power lines.

Preliminary damage assessments are ongoing at the local level in all counties.

Preliminary damages reported to the state from these storms do not qualify Kansas to request a federal declaration for assistance from FEMA.

For more information on preparing for tornadoes, visit www.ksready.gov.