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Archive for Thursday, July 8, 2004

Storms rock northern Kansas

Several counties report possible tornadoes; winds bowl over five semis on I-70

July 8, 2004

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— RSevere weather Wednesday night in northern Kansas brought reports of tornadoes and flooding, but authorities did not yet know the extent of the damage.

The National Weather Service received several reports of possible tornadoes in Russell, Ellis, Barton and Mitchell counties, but many appeared to be in rural areas. Joy Moser, spokeswoman for Kansas Emergency Management, said a possible tornado also hit Rooks County.

The storms knocked down trees and power lines and blew out windows in some homes, Moser said.

Moser said that the roof was ripped off a school gym in the Ellis County town of Munjor. Power was out late Wednesday night in several of the county's towns, including Hays, Pfeifer, Schoenchen and Victoria.

Earlier Wednesday, in the Mitchell County town of Beloit, power was out for about 1 1/2 hours as strong winds knocked down trees and damaged some outbuildings, Moser said.

The Kansas Highway Patrol reported that five semitrailers on Interstate Highway 70 between Hays and Russell were knocked over by high winds. Some of the truck drivers were taken to hospitals, but it was not clear how extensive their injuries were.

Officials also reported flash flooding on I-70 near Russell, but the highway remained open. The National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning for Russell County until 3 a.m. today and a flood warning for Barton County until 3:45 a.m.

There were no reports of any deaths, but authorities on Wednesday night still were trying to determine what had happened during the storms.

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