Wichita Braces Itself For A String Of Severe Storms

May 18, 2017

Severe storms are likely to hit Wichita on Thursday afternoon and evening.

The National Weather Service in Wichita forecasts severe golf ball- to baseball-sized hail, damaging winds up to 75 mph and flood-producing heavy rain.

Meteorologist Chris Jakub says there is a chance for a few tornadoes with the storms as well, but don't underestimate the hail that's expected.

“You never want to underplay the hail. I mean when you get hail as big as baseballs, that is extremely damaging and the winds as well can cause a lot of damage," Jakub says.

The greatest potential for significant severe weather will generally be south of I-70 and west of I-135.

Wichita first responders will have extra personnel working Thursday night in preparation for the severe storms.

Wichita Police Lt. Jose Ocadiz says the fire department will have extra firefighters at the technical rescue station in northeast Wichita.

The personnel are certified to respond to flooding and tornado situations.

“Whatever is called upon, the Wichita Fire Department will respond and will be able to try to mitigate it as soon as possible in the safest manner,” Ocadiz says.

He said weather updates will be available through the City of Wichita, Wichita Fire Department and Wichita Police Department social media accounts. EMS and the National Weather Service will be sending out information in a similar fashion.