4 injured, extensive damage reported after tornado activity in Kansas

At least 4 people were injured as a result of a tornado in the Wichita, Kansas area on Friday night, officials said.

Tornado activity damaged approximately 1,000 structures between Sedgwick County, where at least one tornado first formed, and Butler County. At a news conference early Saturday afternoon, authorities said they expected that number to rise as they concluded an official damage assessment.

Four injuries were reported, most of them minor, Deputy Fire Chief Mike Roosevelt, who is the incident commander during the tornado recovery and response period, said at the news conference.

All four people are adults. One was injured by debris, one was injured during the evacuation and two responded to the scene to help, NBC affiliate KSN of Wichita reported.

At least one person was seriously injured, Sedgwick County EMS acting manager Kevin Lanterman said early Saturday morning.

Damage in the town of Andover in Butler County was evident Saturday morning, KSN of Wichita reported.

Wichita firefighters search what remains of John’s animal world on April 30, 2022 in Andover, Kan. (Jaime Green/The Wichita Eagle via AP)Jaime Green/AP

“We’ve had a lot of buildings in Andover that have suffered really bad damage,” Andover Fire Chief Chad Russell said. “Some of our neighborhoods were damaged enough that the houses were completely destroyed.”

Authorities worked to complete the damage assessment on Saturday morning. Roosevelt said they had completed the first phase and almost 70% of the second phase.

The Greater Wichita YMCA said in a statement that the YMCA in Andover, east of the city, suffered “significant damage”.

“We are grateful that all staff and members who sheltered at the branch at the time of the storm were uninjured,” the YMCA said.

Andover Town Hall also suffered damage.

National Weather Service damage assessment teams were also in the area Saturday morning, the organization said.

“These assessments take time, so please be patient. Pay attention to our first responders and residents to avoid damaged areas,” the National Weather Service said. said on Twitter.

Russell said officials believe no rescues are outstanding, but additional assessments are underway.

Scott Stueven, assistant chief of Butler County EMS services, said he received five requests from EMS patients, including two firefighters. One was hospitalized and both were in “good shape”, he said.

Most injury reports are for minor cuts, scrapes and falls, he said, with no serious injuries.

Andover Police mentioned most of the city’s major intersections were blocked by debris or downed utility lines.

At least 1,700 Kansas utility customers were without power after the storm, according to PowerOutage.us.

Sedgwick County Director of Emergency Management Julie Stimson told KSN that Wichita said county employees went door to door checking on residents..

“We have power outages,” she said. “There is damage. We don’t need spectators right now.

Kansas Governor Laura Kelly urged residents to remain vigilant as severe weather rolled through the state Friday night.

“We are closely monitoring the storm system and I have activated our disaster response and recovery plan,” she said. tweeted.

Sedgwick County officials have declared an emergency by activating its emergency operations center, according to a statement. The statement will help the county secure state aid, officials said.

The National Weather Service blamed a strong storm system in the center of Lower 48 that drew in precipitation from the Gulf of Mexico while producing strong wind shear.

“There will be potential for significant tornadoes, destructive wind gusts and very large hail with an emphasis over southeast Nebraska into eastern Kansas,” the service said in a Friday forecast discussion.

Initially, 14 tornadoes were reported in southern Nebraska and Kansas on Friday, with an additional tornado reported near Fort Myers, Florida. A dozen large hailstorms were also reported across the Plains, with hail as big as golf balls seen.

The National Weather Service previously warned of thunderstorms in Nebraska and Kansas that could fuel tornadoes as strong as EF 2, which defines tornadoes with winds of 113 to 157 mph.

Joe Studley, Janhvi Bhojwani , Courtney Brogle, Christian Santana and christine rapp contributed.

Leave a Comment