Storms damage homes, trees, vehicles in Oklahoma and Kansas; multiple tornadoes reported

photo by: Brett Coomer/Houston Chronicle via AP

People walk through a Bridgeland neighborhood as families begin cleaning up storm damage, Sunday, May 19, 2024, in Cypress, Texas.

Updated at 1:37 p.m. Monday, May 20

WICHITA — Fast-moving storms with strong winds, large hail and apparent tornadoes swept Oklahoma and Kansas, blowing roofs off homes and blocking roads with toppled trees and downed power lines. Meanwhile, Houston made progress in recovering from last week’s deadly storms.

Nearly 20 homes were damaged in western Oklahoma’s Custer County, with two people injured in Butler, state emergency officials said late Sunday. Damage to a nursing home was reported in the town of Hydro.

Wind gusts well over 60 mph were reported in many areas as the storms, which began Sunday afternoon and lasted through the night, moved eastward. In central Kansas, a 100 mph wind gust was reported at the airport in Salina, the National Weather Service said.

Jacob Schwein, of Russell, Kansas, told television station KAKE that he spotted a funnel cloud from a storm that damaged his home and ripped apart a garage where he kept his race car, trophies and an array of tools.

“When I left work, I seen it,” Schwein said. “I seen it come down right over there on the on the next road.”

Overturned semitrailers were reported in Newton and Sedgwick counties, the office said.

“Due to the damage and debris please do not go out unless absolutely necessary!” the city of Halstead posted online.

The weather service said it received 13 tornado reports Sunday from Oklahoma, Kansas and Colorado.

Schools were canceled Monday in several communities that were cleaning up. More storms were forecast for later in the day. The National Weather Service warned of an enhanced risk of severe storms late Monday night into early Tuesday in parts of Colorado, Kansas and Nebraska. Those storms could produce large hail, gusts of up to 75 mph and some tornadoes.

Houston-area residents affected by deadly storms last week received some good news as officials said power was restored Sunday to a majority of the hundreds of thousands who had been left in the dark and without air conditioning during hot and humid weather.

Thursday’s storms left at least seven dead and brought much of Houston to a standstill. Thunderstorms and hurricane-force winds tore through the city of over 2 million, reducing businesses and other structures to debris, uprooting trees and shattering glass in downtown skyscrapers.

By Sunday evening, 88% of customers in the Houston area had power restored, said Paul Lock, a spokesperson for CenterPoint Energy.

“We expect everyone to be back on by end of business Wednesday,” Lock said.

More than 225,000 homes and businesses in Texas remained without electricity Monday morning, mostly in the Houston area. More than 1,800 customers remained without power in Louisiana, which also was hit by strong winds and a suspected tornado.

The weather service said Houston-area residents should expect “sunny, hot and increasingly humid days.” Highs of about 90 degrees were expected this week, with heat indexes likely approaching 102 degrees by midweek.


Welcome to the new Our old commenting system has been replaced with Facebook Comments. There is no longer a separate username and password login step. If you are already signed into Facebook within your browser, you will be able to comment. If you do not have a Facebook account and do not wish to create one, you will not be able to comment on stories.