Feb292012
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Bryan Thompson

Tornado Hits Harveyville, State of Emergency Declared for Wabaunsee County

 

nws logoKansas Governor Sam Brownback has declared a State of Disaster Emergency for Wabaunsee County.  An EF-2 tornado struck the small town of Harveyville, about 30 miles southwest of Topeka, just after 9 o'clock last (TUE) night.  More than a dozen people were injured -- one of them, critically.  A church and many homes were either damaged or destroyed in the town of 250 people.  Trees and power lines were knocked down throughout the area.  Wabaunsee County Emergency Management said four people were trapped in a building for a time, but law enforcement officials say everyone has since been rescued.  Officials say nearly ahlf the town was damaged.

A shelter has been established at the high school in Harveyville. 

The Kansas Department of Transportation says highways K-31 and K-195 are closed in the Harveyville area until further notice.  People are advised to stay away from the town while emergency workers and other officials begin to clear the area.

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There were also several tornado sightings and reports of high winds in other parts of Kansas.   

In southeast Kansas, the Labette County Emergency Management Director says high winds from a thunderstorm blew three trailers over shortly before 10:30pm Tuesday.  Three people were injured -- one of them, seriously.  All three were taken to hospitals.  Some power lines were also blown down.  Most of the damage occurred in a three-block area, according to the National Weather Service.

In Sumner County, in south-central Kansas, at least two houses were severely damaged, a garage was destroyed, and a barn was blown into the road. 

In Wilson County, a house was destroyed, and rescuers worked to pull a family from the debris. 

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Powerful storms also pounded parts of central Kansas.  Brief tornado touchdowns were reported southwest of the Hutchinson area before 7pm yesterday (TUE), amid violent thunderstorms with high winds. Reno County emergency management reported minor wind damage to a house, with vehicles and stock trailers flipped over.  Elsewhere in central Kansas, trained spotters and law enforcement reported hail the size of golf balls and winds estimated at 70 mph Tuesday night north of Hillsboro in Marion County.  Law enforcement officials reported some power lines down in Belleville, just south of the Nebraska line, shortly after 6pm.    

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