Suspected Tornado Rips Through Kansas, Causes Severe Damage

WICHITA, Kan. — A suspected tornado that barreled through parts of Kansas damaged multiple buildings, injured several people and left more than 6,500 people without power, officials said Saturday.

Officials stated that the twister travelled through southeast Wichita, Andover and other areas on Friday evening. Andover Fire Chief Chad Russell claimed that at least 50-100 buildings in Sedgwick County were destroyed by the twister. It was not known how many buildings in Andover were also damaged.

Russell said in some neighborhoods homes “were completely blown away.”

Officials stated that only few injuries had been reported. Three people sustained injuries in Sedgwick county, one of which was serious. Russell confirmed that there had not been any injuries reported for Butler County. A secondary assessment will be made Saturday.

He said some neighborhoods were “damaged enough that houses were completely blown down” and cited areas that suffered “very bad damage.”

City Hall also sustained damage, which hampered “some of our efforts,” Russell said. Prairie Creek Elementary School and the Dr. Jim Farha Andover Youth Management Center were also damaged.

Gov. Laura Kelly created a State of Disaster Emergency to assist the worst-hit areas. This declaration allows the state to make available resources for local authorities in order to assist them with recovery and response efforts in affected areas.

Numerous towns in the Plains reported large hail, along with the tornadoes. According to National Weather Service storm spotters, hail that was the size softballs was seen in the vicinity of Holbrook, Nebraska and Enterprise, Kansas.

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