Large tornado touches down in Ottawa County

Photo courtesy: Keith Williams, taken west of I-135 at Highway 18.
Photo courtesy: Keith Williams, taken west of I-135 at Highway 18.

CORNING, Kansas (AP) — Powerful storms that dropped tornadoes and hail pounded parts of northern Kansas on Tuesday, a second straight day of violent weather in the region.

No injuries were reported from the outbreak that began in late afternoon with at least two tornadoes in northeastern Kansas’ Nemaha County and another that developed later farther west in Ottawa County.

Nemaha County authorities reported at least one home destroyed and another with lesser damage in the small town of Corning. Several sheds and outbuildings were also hit.

In Ottawa County, a large tornado was reported around 5:30 p.m. in the area of Culver and Bennington, about 15 miles north of Salina. Trained spotters for the National Weather Service said the tornado was nearly stationary, and a tornado warning remained in effect for more than an hour.

Tuesday’s storms came as meteorologists put most of north-central and northeastern Kansas under a tornado watch that also covered all of northern Missouri, meaning conditions were favorable for tornado development.

On Monday night, at least four tornadoes hit different counties in northeast Kansas, with no fatalities or serious injuries but considerable damage in the Marshall County town of Marysville.

Bill Schwindamann, Marshall County’s emergency management director, said a tornado that touched down about 9:50 p.m. just west of Marysville destroyed a John Deere dealership and a lumber yard and truss company and flattened or damaged 20 to 25 homes.

Some livestock were missing and power lines were down Tuesday morning around Marysville, which is about 150 miles northwest of Kansas City near the Nebraska border.

The National Weather Service warned the county about the upcoming storm and emergency management workers were scrambling to warn residents when it hit, Schwindamann said.

“They gave us a heads up, and we started setting sirens off and getting spotters out and stuff, but it was pretty much on us by then,” he said.

Tornadoes also touched down in Smith and Clay counties Monday night, said Sharon Watson, spokeswoman for the Kansas Division of Emergency Management.

Preliminary reports indicated two homes were destroyed northwest of Smith Center but no injuries were reported. The Clay County tornado touched down briefly just west of Edgar but did no substantial damage.

Another tornado in Jewell County caused significant damage to one home near Esbon but no injuries, said meteorologist Ryan Pfannkuch in the National Weather Service office in Hastings, Neb.

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