tornadoes

Courtesy photo

A tornado tore through midtown Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Sunday. Emergency officials did not immediately sound sirens. The incident raised the question: What procedures are being used here in Sedgwick County when a storm is approaching?

The Tulsa tornado had moved on by the time the National Weather Service issued a warning. As a result, emergency management officials reportedly did not sound the sirens.

Cody Charvat, training and exercise manager with Sedgwick County Emergency Management, says that the county has two criteria for deciding to sound the sirens.

Barton County, KS, Facebook

A warning was issued 13 minutes before a tornado hit the city of Pawnee Rock in Barton County, Kansas, last night--and that was time enough for residents in its path to take cover.

It was like a playbook for a disaster: The sirens went off at 8:03 Tuesday night and the twister hit at 8:16. The tornado, estimated to have been between 400 and 500 feet wide, stayed on the ground for about 12 miles.

Wednesday morning, Barton County Sheriff Brian Bellendir took a look from above.

Edward O’Neal and Christopher O’Neal

The National Weather Service in Topeka will conduct a statewide tornado safety drill Tuesday at 10 a.m. It's part of Severe Weather Awareness week, which runs through Saturday.

The test will be broadcast over television and radio stations, including KMUW. Residents, businesses and schools are asked to treat the drill as if it were an actual tornado warning.

Niccolò Ubalducci Photographer / flickr Creative Commons

Severe weather could be headed to Kansas for the holiday weekend. National Weather Service Meteorologist Kris Sanders says storms on Christmas Day could bring damaging winds and even some tornadoes.

“There’s a very small chance you could get an isolated tornado. It could be quick and relatively weak. This time of year they usually are in this type of system,” Sanders says.

Sanders says it’s rare to get severe weather in Kansas in December.

Niccolò Ubalducci Photographer / flickr Creative Commons

The National Weather Service is warning people in central and eastern Kansas about the potential for severe weather Thursday.

Meteorologist Jenifer Prieto says storms will bring high winds, hail and even tornadoes to the area. She says the last time there was an October tornado in Kansas was 2011.

“While it has been at least five years since we’ve had a tornado this late in the year, it’s definitely not ruled out for this area. We typically will have a second severe season in the September to October timeframe,” Prieto says.

A support center for people impacted by the tornadoes that hit the town of Eureka and the surrounding area last week closed today.

With the closure of the Multi-Agency Resource Center (MARC), residents impacted by the tornado will work with representatives from the Red Cross at the Eureka Public Library. An information table and resource guide listing additional resources available from community partners will also be available at the library.

Westar Energy

Gov. Sam Brownback declared a state of disaster emergency in Greenwood County after an EF2 tornado touched down in Eureka around 10 p.m. Thursday night. A second, EF3 tornado touched down just northwest of Eureka.

Cleanup has started on damage to the small Kansas town of around 2600 people, about one hour east of Wichita.

Kansas Public Radio

Emergency officials are assessing the damage in Kansas after a massive tornado rolled across the north-central part of the state, destroying at least two dozen homes.

The tornado, nearly a half-mile wide at times, remained on the ground for nearly 90 minutes as it churned near the towns of Solomon, Chapman and Abilene.

The twister cut a path 28 miles long and crossed Interstate 70, the main east-west highway across Kansas.

Edward O’Neal and Christopher O’Neal

Crews are assessing damage after tornadoes swept through the Dodge City area Tuesday night. Damaging hail was also reported. Emergency officials say displaced families are in need of help.

Red Cross officials have set up a client casework area in the Ford County Government Center in Dodge City to help people in need. Corey Becker, a Red Cross disaster volunteer for western Kansas, says families, including elderly people and parents of a one-week-old baby, have all lost their homes.

Chris Fiebig / National Weather Service

The National Weather Service office in Wichita is using social media to recreate the timeline of a deadly tornado outbreak 25 years ago.

An F5 tornado ravaged McConnell Air Force Base and then dropped on top of a populated area in Andover on April 26, 1991.

There were seventeen deaths and more than 200 people were injured.

Meteorologist Eric Metzger says the weather office used Twitter Tuesday to re-enact the atmospheric conditions and events that led to the tornado.

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