‘Take shelter now!’: Mile-wide tornado reportedly touches down outside Kansas City, prompting emergency
A mile-wide tornado touched down outside Kansas City on Tuesday night, reports said, prompting a National Weather Service (NWS) emergency declaration and warnings to “take shelter now!”
The NWS later said, at about 9:35 ET, that there were no longer any severe weather warnings, but that it was keeping an eye on the storm as it moved east through Ray County, Mo.
“We are not out of the woods yet,” the service tweeted.
Just before 11 p.m. ET, the NWS issued a new, severe thunderstorm watch extending until 4 a.m. CDT.
The watch replaced previous severe thunderstorm and tornado watches, the service said.
“Isolating damaging winds & large hail are the main concerns, but can’t completely rule out a tornado,” the service tweeted.
The NWS also issued a flash flood warning for the Bethany, Milan and Unionville areas until 4:45 a.m. CDT.
A flash flood warning was also extended for the Maryville, Savannah and Country Club Village areas until 4:45 CDT.
Meanwhile, reports of a rotating wall cloud close to Kearney, Mo. near Interstate 35 emerged at about 9 p.m. ET.
“If you are in this warning, take shelter now!” the NWS said.
The NWS later said there was a possibility of two tornadoes – one north of Excelsior Estates, another west of Excelsior Estates in Missouri.
Excelsior Springs Hospital was believed to be in the path of a tornado.
Matt Makens, an atmospheric scientist with the CW2 network out of Denver, tweeted about a “rain-wrapped mile-wide tornado” that was passing close to Linwood.
KCTV also reported the mile-wide estimate for the tornado’s size.
The National Weather Service out of Kansas City said the tornado had lifted as of just before 8:30 ET but said the system could place another tornado on the ground.
A tornado warning remained in effect.
Winds of up to 112 km/h were estimated on the tornado, and “ping pong-sized hail” was possible, the NWS said.
Reports also had debris falling from the sky along Interstate 70, north-northeast of Edwardsville. There were also reports of debris falling close to Smithville Lake, Mo.
Kansas City International Airport said it was moving customers into the parking garage tunnels to “shelter in place” due to the storm. They were given the all clear just over 40 minutes later.
Meanwhile, the NWS warned of a severe thunderstorm in the Missouri areas of Gladstone, Parkville and Pleasant Valley.
There was also a flash flood warning for the Missouri areas of Kansas City, Independence, Liberty, Maryville, Savannah and Country Club Village.
Earlier copy from The Associated Press:
Assistant Director Jillian Roderigue said Douglas County Emergency Management received a report of a tornado about 6:10 p.m. near the small community of Lone Star, southwest of Lawrence.
She said there no immediate reports of injuries. But local television stations were showing damage on the south side of Lawrence.
The city of about 100,000 residents is home to the University of Kansas. It is about 50 miles (80 kilometres) southwest of the Kansas City International Airport.
The National Weather Service in Kansas City issued a tornado emergency for Kansas City, Kansas; Shawnee and Bonner Springs, Kansas until 7:15 p.m.
- With files from Hannah Jackson and The Associated Press
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