Storm causes fires, tree and property damage, power outages

WICHITA, Kansas — A storm carrying large hail, heavy rain and strong winds made its way across part of Kansas Thursday evening.

It left a wide path of destruction including fires, tree and property damage and power outages. (See below for viewer photos)

Cowley County sounded the tornado sirens at Winfield City Lake to warn people there of 70 mph winds. There was no tornado, just dangerous winds.

West Kellogg was temporarily closed at 167th Street because a fireworks tent blew down and onto the highway.

“We were all standing inside waiting for it to get past us and, all of a sudden, the gust hit us and the tent was gone,” said Jerry Farha.

Farha lost four of his fireworks tents. The others were in Haysville, Derby and Goddard.

“I’ve never lost a tent in 22 years,” he said. “I lost four tonight.”

Dave Freeman says Mid-Continent Airport and areas in west Wichita registered a wind gust of 89 miles an hour.

Firefighters were busy with a business fire at 201 S. Baltimore in Derby. Wind blew a tree into a power pole. The power pole with three transformers fell into MJB Heating and Air. A fire started and spread to Pulver Sign Company. Earlier reports attributed the fire to lightning, but wind was the culprit.

Harvey County officials are asking people to stay home tonight. There are a lot of power lines and trees down, especially between Newton and Burrton.

US 50 closed for a time because of power lines over the road west of Newton on the way to Halstead.

Westar Energy reported at least 27,000 customers without power at one point.

If you know someone with a power outage, they should call their power provider, not 911.

The storm also toppled a semi near the Kansas Turnpike in south Wichita.

 

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