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Archive for Monday, March 23, 2009

Spring’s fury unleashed as storms whip across state

Hail, 51 mph wind gusts reported as storm blows through Lawrence

A large branch of a flowering Bradford Pear tree near the Lawrence Memorial Hospital parking lot was split off the tree during Monday's winds.

A large branch of a flowering Bradford Pear tree near the Lawrence Memorial Hospital parking lot was split off the tree during Monday's winds.

March 23, 2009, 8:07 a.m. Updated March 24, 2009, 5:25 a.m.

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Tuesday, March 24 weather at midnight

The forecast for Tuesday, March 24 calls for a high of 57 and a low of 48. Enlarge video

Reader-submitted photo of overturned semi between Salina and Abilene on I-70.  Winds gusts reaching up to 60 mph in the area.

Reader-submitted photo of overturned semi between Salina and Abilene on I-70. Winds gusts reaching up to 60 mph in the area.

Severe Weather

In the eye of the storm: The mystery, mayhem and majesty of Kansas weather. Learn about the power of severe weather, how to stay safe when a storm strikes, and how people affected by past storms have managed the rebuilding and aftermath of tornadoes striking home.

Just four days into spring, Kansas has already experienced many of the season’s infamous tribulations.

6News Meteorologist Matt Elwell said that Monday’s storm system produced 11 tornadoes, 12 reports of wind damage and more than 75 reports of hail across across the region.

“This is really our first major spring storm push,” he said. “We’ve had one other setup, but it wasn’t as potent as this one.”

The line of storms put Lawrence under a tornado watch, a severe thunderstorm warning and a wind advisory for parts of Monday. A severe thunderstorm watch expired just after 3 a.m. this morning. The storm system did not reach Douglas County until around 12:15 a.m. and began to dwindle about 3 a.m.

A flood advisory was in effect until 3:30 a.m. Tuesday, but reports of flooding were few. A Lawrence police officer advised that drains in the underpass near Second and Locust streets were clogged and not allowing water to drain freely. There was only a few inches of water in the underpass, he said.

Lawrence officers also said that the traffic signal lights at Sixth and Vermont streets were out at 5:25 a.m.

Wind gusts of up to 91 mph were reported south of Manhattan, Elwell said. He said Lawrence experienced gusts of 51 mph Monday.

The blustery winds blew down power lines near Sixth Street and Wakarusa Drive on Monday, leaving thousands of people without power for part of the afternoon. Several reports of arcing power lines were also reported in the city Monday night.

In Franklin County, a police dispatcher said winds were whipping through so fast that street signs were being blown down.

The Kansas Highway Patrol reported that 13 vehicles in the central and western part of the state, mostly semi-trailer trucks, were blown over from high winds Monday. One semi rollover in Topeka forced cleanup crews to close part of Interstate 70.

Lt. Mike Murphy of the Kansas Highway Patrol said in his more than two decades in law enforcement, “I have never seen this many semis blow over.”

Elsewhere in the state, several blocks of downtown Hutchinson were closed because of wind damage and debris that had blown off a building. In Concordia, strong winds damaged the roof of an elementary school and a nursing home, and a Sonic restaurant drive-through bay was blown into a Super 8 motel.

In south-central Kansas, the system spawned an apparent tornado in Cowley County, in a pasture several miles southeast of Winfield. Tree damage was reported along the Arkansas River.

Heavy rains caused flooding in cities including Arkansas City and Winfield.

Elwell said this system of storms would likely produce a colder setup for the area over the next couple of days. “This is a slow-enough moving system that the cold air could stick around with us until the weekend,” he said.

Comments

trinity 5 years, 9 months ago

yikes! grab the bike helmets and the heavy winter coats! hunker hunker hunker!!!

i love springtime in kansas. :)

Chris Ogle 5 years, 9 months ago

As usual, my garage is full of crap.... car gets to set outside again.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 9 months ago

"Is there such a thing as insignificant severe weather?"

One that hits in the next county (or state) over.

Christine Pennewell Davis 5 years, 9 months ago

Just let it hold off till after school is out do not want to be out standing in a downpour while getting little ones from school. Yes pure selflishness.

Tony Kisner 5 years, 9 months ago

I am in need of a large hail storm to target my roof.

Linda Aikins 5 years, 9 months ago

Yep TOB and we are on the north edge too.

I will believe it when I see it. But just in case, I will borrow someone else's umbrella.

Linda Aikins 5 years, 9 months ago

ew. you are so right. Biscuits for everyone!

ReadingSports 5 years, 9 months ago

“Is there such a thing as insignificant severe weather?”

Sure, haven't you ever heard of a tempest in a teapot?

Mike Blur 5 years, 9 months ago

Tom Shewmon, I flagged your racist comment and I recommend to the LJW editors that they ban your account. You already know you're on extremely thin ice.

BrianR 5 years, 9 months ago

mommaeffortx2 (Anonymous) says… "Just let it hold off till after school is out do not want to be out standing in a downpour while getting little ones from school. Yes pure selflishness."

No, this makes perfect sense. I'll wish for this too. I think I have a couple of wishes left...

alm77 5 years, 9 months ago

Easy, me too!

Guess I'll be cleaning house when I get back from the dentist this afternoon. Especially the bathroom we use as shelter.

Christine Pennewell Davis 5 years, 9 months ago

It is already windy enough out there really do not need stronger winds I like to keep my feet on the ground.

mistygreen 5 years, 9 months ago

Let me see if I have this correct, the tornado watch is west of Hwy 75, and will be moving to the Lawrence area later this evening. I'm directionally challenged, but I do believe that Hwy 75 runs north and south, and so if Hwy 75 is the boundary should everything east of Hwy 75 be added to the watch area later this evening?

Jonathan Kealing 5 years, 9 months ago

mistygreen-

Most likely. Still to early to be sure, but that's the pattern.

Jonathan Kealing Online editor

jamnjohnks 5 years, 9 months ago

I think what she is referring to is the watch is west of 75 Highway and then the story says "The watch is expected to move west toward Lawrence and surrounding areas later in the day."

How can it move west from 75 highway and end up in Lawrence? Last I heard Lawrence is east of 75 highway.

dad52 5 years, 9 months ago

I believe that mistygreen has questioned this because of the error in the article:

"A tornado watch is in effect for areas west of Highway 75 in Kansas. The watch is expected to move west toward Lawrence and surrounding areas later in the day."

Highway 75 is west of Lawrence, therefore, the watch should be moving east toward Lawrence, not west.

Jonathan Kealing 5 years, 9 months ago

Just a heads-up to everyone: in a severe weather situation, we're going to get the information out first and then clean up the sentence structure later. We obviously strive to hit both marks simultaneously, but will aim for accuracy and being informative first in a situation like we could see tonight.

Thanks, Jonathan Kealing Online editor

alm77 5 years, 9 months ago

Keep up the great work Jonathan. We're all a little spoiled in this information age.

I'm sitting here wishing I'd went with the higher-end screen door.

Christine Pennewell Davis 5 years, 9 months ago

now what did I do MD I have been a very good girl all day long. I have not even been tempted to kill the ever clawing kitty today. People just kidding about the killing part even if my back is now covered is cat claw marks from where she jumped on me. I wander if she can fly:) Well it is windy out.

Raider 5 years, 9 months ago

Mike Blur = wuss

There's a HUGe tree in my front yard that is dying. If this wind decided to have mercy on that tree and knock it down I wouldn't care. And if it just so happened to fall on that end of my house, I really woudn't care. I have excellent insurance. :-)

tonymontana 5 years, 9 months ago

i like this weather i hope we get some boom boom thunder.

btw, you suck, mike blur! somebody needs to call a wambulance for you.

Christine Pennewell Davis 5 years, 9 months ago

I will try not to toss her to the wind but tempting.

Linda Aikins 5 years, 9 months ago

Multi - Autie - batton down the hatches, mates!

I have such a headache - must be the barometric pressure? Anyone else have those? I know it's not from working too hard....

Christine Pennewell Davis 5 years, 9 months ago

I not fond of the reds merging together my very large dog and kid don't like the big booms.

Christine Pennewell Davis 5 years, 9 months ago

yeah gootsie my whole family suffers that kind of headache by the time this stuff gets here I will be medicated I hope but can't do that until hubby gets home those ever so bothersome kids tend to need looking after:)

gsxr600 5 years, 9 months ago

I hate those Bradford Pear trees, they smell like cat piss

Linda Aikins 5 years, 9 months ago

Love those meds Momma!! And I admire you for waiting for the hubby. That is responsible parenting! :)

Autie, do you put the dogs and cats to bed with you - are THEY the alpha? Or is it the other way around? (probably)

BlackVelvet 5 years, 9 months ago

ratz.....severe weather heading this way and I have to work late into the evening.

Linda Aikins 5 years, 9 months ago

Now that I think of it, have we ever seen TOB and Katie in the same room together? interesting thought.....

Chris Ogle 5 years, 9 months ago

I think Katie is afraid of the weather.... wonder if she ever gets outside?? At least she doesn't do sports.

Boston_Corbett 5 years, 9 months ago

I think I will go up and watch the Zarda wind turbine spin off of its mounts.

Linda Aikins 5 years, 9 months ago

Must be national typo day. These stroms culd be dagnerous toady.

Sean Livingstone 5 years, 9 months ago

"RETICENT_IRREVERENT (Anonymous) says…

Is there such a thing as insignificant severe weather?"

Yes, there is. Severe weather that you're so used to.... like you're always living in permanent frost, so severe snow storm is insigificant.

Calliope877 5 years, 9 months ago

Everyone know what to do when you hear the tornado sirens go off? Yep, that's right...walk outside and look for the funnel cloud.

Chris Ogle 5 years, 9 months ago

Calliope, I have lived here all my life, and never seen a tornado.. You bet I am looking outside..... If I get blown away, I'll let you know.

viewfromahill 5 years, 9 months ago

I generally take sirens as a cue to run the ship aground.

alm77 5 years, 9 months ago

I figure if there are problems, our electricity will go out and the wind will drown out any sirens!! At least that's what happened last time.

bearded_gnome 5 years, 9 months ago

I am sooooo disappointed!

gnomedog even got scared too! we have had no rumbles thus far! hey, I want my money back!

"blow singles off rooves" is that a dating service?


R.I.: would that be a temptress in a t-top?


I think Katie is afraid of the weather…. wonder if she ever gets outside?? At least she doesn't do sports.

if she is "always pregnant, there's at least one sport she engages in.

bearded_gnome 5 years, 9 months ago

what you saw of lil Mikie Blur is typical of him. he ads nothing to the comment threads. he's like the kid in grade school who got mad at other kids for just having fun.

bearded_gnome 5 years, 9 months ago

it is believed that Sasquatch/big foot is Bill Clinton, because the two have never been seen in public at the very same time. so, Multi, you better lock your door and put away your interns!

redmoonrising 5 years, 9 months ago

Yep, couldn't get to sleep until after two when it started, too dam quiet before then. After reading all the posts today, decided it would be fun to have a bloggers shelter, the wind blowing around outside, the s*t flying around inside and everyone but mike having a great time. And now my mind is gone for the day, humming the man song while pondering the philosophical question of insignificant severe weather. And when I'm traveling and one more person asks me how Dorothy is I will not be held responsible. Yes, Kansas really is a place and we're not all fictional characters, just characters. Some of us might fly a little high but we always find our way home, given enough time.

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