Suspected tornado causes severe damage as it rips through Kansas

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Suspected Tornado Causes Severe Damage As It Rips Through Kansas Suspected Tornado Causes Severe Damage As It Rips Through Kansas
Tornado damage, © AP/Press Association Images
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By Associated Press Reporter

A suspected tornado that ripped through parts of Kansas has damaged multiple buildings, injured several people and left more than 6,500 people without power.

Officials said the suspected twister moved though parts of south-east Wichita and Andover on Friday evening.

Andover fire chief Chad Russell said during a news conference on Saturday that 50 to 100 buildings were damaged in Sedgwick County, though it was not immediately known how many buildings were damaged in Andover.

Mr Russell said in some neighbourhoods homes “were completely blown away”.


Firefighters search a home in Andover, Kansas, after the tornado swept through the area (Travis Heying/The Wichita Eagle/AP)

Officials said only a few injuries had been reported.

In Sedgwick County, three people were injured, including one woman who suffered serious injuries.

Mr Russell said no injuries had been reported in Butler County, but a secondary assessment would be conducted later.

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He said that while it was not immediately known how many buildings had been damaged, more than 900 structures were in the suspected tornado’s path.

He said some neighbourhoods were “damaged enough that houses were completely blown down” and cited areas that suffered “very bad damage”.

City Hall also sustained damage, which hampered “some of our efforts”, Mr Russell said.

Governor Laura Kelly declared a State of Disaster Emergency for the hardest hit areas. The declaration makes state resources available to help local jurisdictions with response and recovery efforts.

In addition to the tornadoes, large hail was reported in several towns. Hail the size of softballs was spotted near Holbrook, Nebraska, and Enterprise, Kansas, according to the National Weather Service and storm spotters.

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