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LIVE BLOG: Wind storm leaves damage, prompts cleanup Thursday

Thousands remain without power
Trees slams into house at W. 72nd Terrace and Lamar
Posted at 6:19 AM, Dec 16, 2021

3:00 p.m. | Missouri Gov. Mike Parson announced Thursday that he begun seeking federal disaster assistance for the state in response to the severe weather that took place Wednesday.

The request Parson has sent to the Federal Emergency Management Agency focuses on Dunklin, Pemiscot and Reynolds Counties.

More than 20 large transmission towers and lines that transport power to other counties in the state recieved damage there.

Those damages are part of why power outages have been seen across the area, which peaked at more than 30,000 customers without power in Missouri, according to a release from Parson's office.

1:05 p.m. | The smoky smell some noticed in the Kansas City area Wednesday night may continue as fires burn in Kansas.

12:50 p.m. | The Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas, released information about their storm response.

The area peaked at 9,000 power outtages and 18 downed trees.

"Based upon data collected since last night, much of Wyandotte County was impacted by the storm, which saw wind gusts nearing 70 miles per hour," a release said.

Today, the Unified Government said city employees will continue to work to repair damage and restore power to residents.

"BPU teams continue to work diligently to restore power for approximately 2,000 addresses," the release said.

11:50 a.m. | The City of Independence has posted about some of the damage sustained.

Independence is part of the area that still has power outages. The city last reported 219 residents without power.

Evergy has reported their total active outages slightly falling today, and is now at about 2,845. About 45,480 total customers are still without power.

11:35 a.m. | Brown County, an area northwest of Kansas City, was hit hard by the severe weather Wednesday, according to county Sheriff John Merchant.

"In the afternoon/evening hours of December 15, 2021, Brown County endured some of the worst weather conditions that we have experienced in many years," he said in a statement.

The area experienced wind gusts of more than 90 miles per hour, according to Merchant.

"Winds were so strong that emergency personnel could not open their doors unless they positioned their vehicles downwind. This storm caused significant losses," he said.

The area saw damage including overturned cars and semi-trucks, downed electrical lines, trees and debris blown into homes and damaged rooves, among other things.

The emergency dispatchers saw a sharp increase in calls.

"Our dispatchers were flooded with calls for many hours and did a wonderful job of notifying emergency personnel to areas where immediate response was needed. Many calls were made to utility companies notifying them of power outages and downed lines," Merchant said. "Deputies were at all ends of the county working though different emergency situations."

However, Merchant said emergency services worked together with citizens to help each other.

"We are very blessed that we have dedicated emergency services, personnel and individuals who tirelessly help others when emergency situations such as this arise," Merchant said. "Many county residents helped clear roadways of downed trees and debris, provided assistance to friends and neighbors, helped warn motorists of downed power lines on the roads, etc."

11:30 a.m. | Following the night of storms,several fires in western and central Kansas are still not under control.

In response, the state is deploying the Kansas National Guard and Kansas Forest Service.

Much of the state remains under a fire warning because of several risk factors.

10:35 a.m. | Evergy has updated the number of outages across the area.

The company currently has 2,915 active outages, with about 54,800 customers without power.

10:15 a.m. | Overland Park, Kansas, saw a surge of calls for service Wednesday night, according to the Overland Park Fire Department.

The department posted to Twitter that they received 130 calls.

However, there was still a positive spin on the night, which quickly became chaotic due to high winds, severe thunderstroms, dust storms, fires and even tornadoes in some areas.

"Despite high winds and storms, no significant fires or injuries were reported in Overland Park. Much of that credit goes to you! Your actions helped us protect OP," the department posted.

Many of the areas surrounding Kansas City sustained significant damage and power outages have sky rocketed.

Clay County is one of the areas affected.

"Clay County Circuit Court is closed today due to a power outage," the county sheriff's office said in a statement. "If you had a court date scheduled, check with your attorney or on Casenet for updates."

9:35 a.m. | The Clay County Circuit Court is closed Thursday due to a power outage.

7:45 a.m. | Garfield Elementary and J.A. Rogers Elementary are closed in the Kansas City, Missouri, school district due to power outages.

7:30 a.m. | Norfleet Elementary and Little Blue Elementary in Raytown are closed Thursday due to power outages.

There will also be no elementary virtual school.

ORIGINAL STORY | People across the plains states and Midwest are cleaning up Thursday after a massive wind storm wreaked havoc on Wednesday.

Wind gusts were recorded as high as 100 miles per hour and were commonly between 60 and 70 miles per hour.

The strength of the gusts was enough to snap trees in half, damages roofs and send debris flying.

As of 6 a.m. more than 75,000 Evergy customers, 2,200 BPU customers and 200 IPU customers were still without power.

Evergy said repairs could take a long time since outages are so widespread, and customers should be patient.

Classes were canceled for Blue Valley High School students because the building was left without power. That's the only school in the district where classes won't happen Thursday.

However, classes were canceled for the entire Tonganoxie school district.

The Morse Early Childhood Center in Kansas City, Kansas, was also without power. Those students will go to Argentine Middle School Thursday.

Those in Eastern Kansas and Missouri will also notice a layer of dirt over everything outside due to the dust storm that followed the thunderstorms. Drought-stricken Kansas farmland is the cause of the dust.

Expect long lines at the car wash.

Winds were high enough Wednesday evening that the traffic control tower at the Kansas City International Airport was evacuated and all flights were diverted.

The airport was back to normal operation after a short period of time and all flights appear to be on time for Thursday.

If you encounter downed power lines that crews have not reached yet, do not go near the lines. Do not remove any tree debris that might be entangled in lines. Call the fire department of your power company for assistance.