Widespread damage has been reported in various parts of Kansas as a result of powerful storms and tornadoes that rolled across the state last (TUE) night.
One tornado damaged more than 40 percent of the small town of Harveyville, southwest of Topeka, in Wabaunsee County. At least 14 people were hurt in Harveyville and one of them suffered critical injuries. Westar officials say the entire town of about 250 people was without electricity today (WED). Red Cross and Salvation Army volunteers are on the scene to provide meals and drinks to survivors and cleanup crews.
Governor Sam Brownback declared a state of emergency for Wabaunsee County late last (TUE) night, after the suspected tornado struck Harveyville.
Elsewhere in Kansas...
*One person was critically injured in Labette County, in southeast Kansas, last (TUE) night. Officials are still trying to determine whether the storm that passed through the area was actually a tornado or just strong winds. Officials say about 4,000 customers in southeast Kansas were without power this (WED) morning.
*In southeast Kansas, damage to a hotel was so bad it had to be evacuated. The 25 people staying at the Pittsburg Econo Lodge were moved to another hotel after winds damaged the Econo Lodge's roof. The storm, with winds up to 70 miles an hour, knocked out power to Pittsburg's hospital and schools - including Pittsburg State University. Classes were cancelled at all schools in Pittsburg. The hospital wasn't visibly damaged and no patients were evacuated.
*Authorities say a tornado touched down for about five minutes in Reno County last (TUE) night. It's unclear how much damage may have been caused.
*Winds in excess of 70 miles per hour knocked-over utility poles in McPherson County, cutting off power to the town of Moundridge.
*Damage has also been reported in Cowley County, where winds up to 60 miles per hour were reported.
The Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma has confirmed that 14 tornadoes touched down in five different states Tuesday — including the first February tornado in Nebraska's history. That twister touched down near the town of Gandy in the western part of the state.