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Dangerous storm damages homes, trees in Kansas City area

Lawrence Hwy 59-2
Hwy 59 closed Lawrence
Lawrence Hwy 59-1
Posted at 7:00 PM, May 28, 2019

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A destructive storm rolled through Lawrence and into the Kansas City metro on Tuesday evening, damaging homes and uprooting trees in counties around the Kansas City metro and south of Lawrence.

PHOTOS: Damage reported in Lawrence, Leavenworth County after storm

The National Weather Service said Wednesday that preliminary reports indicate an EF-2 tornado with winds reaching 115 miles per hour touched down in Clay County.

LISTEN: Kansas City shows resiliency after devastating tornadoes

The Clay County Sheriff's Office tweeted that storm damage was being reported east of Kearney, but no injuries had been reported.

The storm also left behind damage in Leavenworth County. At one Linwood home, a workshop garage was completely destroyed, with only the door frame left standing.

At another home in Linwood, owners said the house they had lived in for 14 years was now unlivable.

Leavenworth County Emergency Management said it received reports of three injuries due to the storm, all of them minor. The agency also had reports of people who were trapped but not injured.

Stretches of Kansas 32, where a tornado was reported near Alexander Road, were expected to remain closed through Wednesday.

Homes in the Bear Lake neighborhood in Bonner Springs also were destroyed in the storm. Officials there said that travel was not advised Tuesday evening due to power outages and tree debris.

Wyandotte County officials said late Tuesday that there were no reports of injuries or significant damage in the area, but there were reports of power outages, uprooted and damaged trees and structural damage to buildings in Bonner Springs, where the storm appeared to have the biggest impact.

In Lawrence, police tweeted that officers did not see "major structural damage" within city limits but that large trees, power lines and debris were strewn along roads on the southeastern edge of the city. Some roadways were impassable, police said.

U.S. 59 south of Lawrence reopened after it was closed due to an overturned truck. The Kansas Department of Transportation said it did not anticipate any more closures on highways in the area.

Wednesday morning, the Douglas County Sheriff's Office confirmed 15 people suffered weather-related injuries, but said three of those people were seriously hurt.

The American Red Cross opened a shelter in Lawrence at the Douglas County Fairgrounds, 2120 Harper Street. Officials said Wednesday that no one had utilized the shelter yet, but it would remain open in case anyone needed it on Wednesday.

More than 15,000 customers in the Lawrence area were without power late Tuesday. By Wednesday morning, 3,900 customers were without power.

Westar Energy and Kansas City Power and Light estimated that customers in Douglas, Leavenworth and Wyandotte counties affected by the storm would have power restored by mid-Thursday.

The National Weather Service in Topeka said that a tornado was reported south of Lone Star shortly after 6 p.m. It was on the ground moving toward southeast Lawrence around 6:20 p.m.

The storm reached Linwood and Bonner Springs before 7 p.m. It then moved toward the Kansas Speedway and the Legends Outlets in Kansas City, Kansas and continued east.

Storm Bonner Springs
A storm rolls through Bonner Springs, Kansas, around 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Looking north from downtown at Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport.#kcwx

— Kevin (@kj_10_) May 29, 2019

The airfield at the Kansas City International Airport was closed because of storm debris, including tree limbs and "pieces of structures," the airport said in a tweet. Maintenance crews were on site to clear the debris. The expected opening was after 11 p.m.

Various departing flights out of KCI were canceled or delayed due to the storm. Around 7 p.m., the airport moved people into the parking garage tunnels to shelter in place. They were given the all-clear at 7:45 p.m.

For the latest forecast and radar, click here.