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Archive for Thursday, March 1, 2012

Tornado did strike southern Douglas County, National Weather Service says; several buildings damaged

Joyce Barkley sits Thursday near what’s left of her barn and outbuildings on Woodson Road in southern Douglas County. Tuesday night’s EF-0 tornado, with 65 mph to 85 mph winds, damaged or destroyed many structures in the area.

Joyce Barkley sits Thursday near what’s left of her barn and outbuildings on Woodson Road in southern Douglas County. Tuesday night’s EF-0 tornado, with 65 mph to 85 mph winds, damaged or destroyed many structures in the area.

March 1, 2012

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Tornado Damage

Residents of Douglas County clean up after Tuesday's minor tornado that caused damage to at least five homes. Enlarge video

A small tornado that touched down in southern Douglas County Tuesday night threw a 2x4 through a car battery.

A small tornado that touched down in southern Douglas County Tuesday night threw a 2x4 through a car battery.

Some residents of southern Douglas County suffered severe damage, such as this destroyed barn, from a tornado that hit the area Tuesday night.

Some residents of southern Douglas County suffered severe damage, such as this destroyed barn, from a tornado that hit the area Tuesday night.

The National Weather Service has determined an EF-0 tornado struck parts of southern Douglas County and damaged buildings south of Globe and Worden.

Meteorologist Matt Wolters said Douglas County emergency management officials completed a damage report Wednesday as property owners were able to inspect things in the daylight.

Damage was reported three miles southeast of Globe, and the National Weather Service determined the path of the tornado was from four miles south of Globe in northern Franklin County to 1.5 miles south of Worden in Douglas County. The tornado lasted from 10:06 p.m. Tuesday to 10:11 p.m.

“Several barns were damaged or destroyed with large trees uprooted, based on a description of the damage,” he said.

Joyce Barkley, who lives in the area went to bed about 10 p.m. Tuesday and heard the wind pick up outside.

“I got up to go to the basement, and by the time I hit the stairway, the storm, it was done. The noise was gone,” she said.

Barkley returned to bed.

“I got up the next morning and looked outside and everything was gone,” she said.

The storm had done severe damage to her barn, but she was glad no one was hurt and that her house and neighbors’ homes were spared.

Wolters said an EF-0 tornado is the weakest category of a tornado with winds between 65 mph and 85 mph.

Darlene Schwarz, who drives a school bus for the Baldwin City school district, noticed damage on her route Wednesday that included a tree on the road in one area and damage to barns, other buildings, a roof on a home and a breezeway and garage on a new home under construction.

“You could tell a tornado or something went through there,” Schwarz said.

Douglas County Emergency Management Director Teri Smith said most of the damage was tipped-over farm machinery and blown-off shingles. She said a mobile home in the area was destroyed, but officials have not confirmed if anyone was living in the home because no one was home when they checked on it.

Smith said the February storm was a good reminder about being prepared for severe weather — always.

“Take the time now to have a plan, make a kit, and be informed and know what to do before, during and after,” Smith said.

Gov. Sam Brownback on Thursday declared a disaster emergency in 19 counties, including Douglas, hit this week by the violent weather, including the storm that spawned a deadly tornado in the eastern Kansas town of Harveyville.

The governor’s disaster declaration brings the state into the response to the storms.

Brownback had already declared of a state of emergency Tuesday night in Wabaunsee County after the tornado hit Harveyville. But other areas also had damaging winds, hail and tornadoes.

In addition to Wabaunsee and Douglas counties, the new declaration covers: Butler, Chautauqua, Coffey, Cowley, Crawford, Franklin, Harper, Kingman, Labette, Leavenworth, Marion, Montgomery, McPherson, Reno, Republic, Sumner and Wilson counties.

The storm that rolled through the area was part of the same system that produced a tornado that damaged Harveyville, Wolters said. Kansas officials said Thursday that one man had died from injuries he suffered in Harveyville.

The Kansas Adjutant General’s Office said in a statement Thursday morning: “Richard D. Slade, 53, was airlifted to Stormont-Vail Emergency and Trauma Center in Topeka Tuesday night after being pulled from the wreckage of his home. He remained in critical condition and the decision was made Wednesday afternoon to take him off life support. Slade passed away Wednesday evening.”

Senior photographer Richard Gwin and The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Comments

g_rock 2 years, 1 month ago

The LJW text/warning thingy was asleep on the keyboard on this too.

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George_Braziller 2 years, 1 month ago

How is a determination made that it was a tornado and not just a micro-burst or straight-line winds? It was at night so no one could actually see it. Is it by the type of damage? I'm just curious.

I had $20,000 worth of damage to my house after the Lawrence "micro-burst" and the map of the damage in town showed the typical southwest to northeast path of a tornado, yet the county emergency management officials insisted that it wasn't a tornado.

Wolters said an EF-0 tornado is the weakest category of a tornado with winds between 65 mph and 85 mph.

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jimincountry 2 years, 1 month ago

What a bunch of whiners and what-ifers.

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Lynn731 2 years, 1 month ago

Why was the National Weather Service & County Emergency Management asleep at the switch, as these storms killed people? We had no warning at all. Expensive weather radios did not go off, no sirens were sounded. The blood of the dead victims is on their hands for not doing their jobs properly. It could have just as well been the blood of me and my family. Write your Senators and County Commission, and demand an explanation.

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mustrun80 2 years, 1 month ago

Well the internal combustion engine strikes again.

Everyone needs to see Al Gore's movie so this kind of stuff will stop.

Hope you're happy Dick Cheney.

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Ken Lassman 2 years, 1 month ago

Look at the tornado radar tracks in the Jeff Masters blog titled "eleven deaths in tornado outbreak":

http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/article.html

Figure 2 shows the tracks that crossed Douglas County. If that storm's tornado stayed on the ground and got larger, folks would have had almost no notice. Tuschkahouma is right--at 80 miles an hour, it was here and gone so quick that by the time sirens started up I could see the moon and the clouds had moved east. You wouldn't believe how fast we all got into the basement on that one.

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Mike Ford 2 years, 1 month ago

That storm was travelling at 80 mph. We live in west Baldwin and it scared the bejesus out of us. No one had any time to get anywhere. We have no basement so we went to the laundry room. It would've crossed US 59 near the house with the wind turbine and gone on to either north or south of Vinland and near Eudora. Pay attention to the southwest to northeast travel route of most tornadic storms. We will next time.

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Randall Barnes 2 years, 1 month ago

if the tornado had stayed on the ground then eudora would have taken a direct hit just like brason. so thank you for sounding the sirens.

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thebcman 2 years, 1 month ago

still no excuse to sound the sirens in Eudora. And you wonder why nobody takes them seriously.

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