tornadoes

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.

weather.gov

The American Red Cross is prepared for the possibility of severe weather this afternoon. As KMUW’s Sean Sandefur reports, the state has 700 volunteers who handle disasters.

Twenty-five years ago an F5 tornado ripped through Andover and Haysville, killing 17 people. Today there is a threat of another massive spring storm.

Michelle Jantz, director of the Midway Kansas Red Cross, says her organization has hundreds of volunteers ready to respond to disasters in Kansas and throughout the Kansas/Nebraska and Southwest Iowa region.

Lauren Ayres, flickr Creative Commons

Kansas is holding a statewide tornado drill today as part of Severe Weather Awareness Week. KMUW’s Abigail Wilson reports that for most of Kansas, the drill will take place at 6:30 p.m. this evening.

Lauren Ayres, flickr Creative Commons

Kansas' 124 confirmed tornadoes in 2015 were 83 more than the previous year, tying for the fourth highest number since 1990, according to the National Weather Service's preliminary data.

Eric Metzger, a meteorologist for the weather service's office in Wichita, says moisture from a strong El Nino was a possible factor in 2015's higher number of tornadoes because it influences climate systems to produce more tornadoes, The Hutchinson News reported. Kansas typically has between 70 and 110 tornadoes every year.

Brenda Buller, http://hesston.digitalsckls.info

On March 13, People who live in Hesston will be marking the anniversary of the tornado that destroyed their town 25 years ago.

First responders credit the advance warning about the “F5” tornado for the low number of injuries and fatalities.

KMUW’s Deborah Shaar has the story.

Hesston EMS Director Russ Buller was a volunteer firefighter at the time the tornado was gathering strength in Reno County and heading toward Hesston in Harvey County on March 13th, 1990.

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