FEMA severe-weather summary

The following report from FEMA Region VII Emergency Center summarizes severe weather incidents May 21-29 in Kansas. It was sent by Larry Thomas, KNCSB director of disaster relief.

Summary

Beginning at approximately 1700 hrs on Saturday, May 21, 2011, severe weather impacted the northeastern region of Kansas. This severe weather spurred multiple severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings. The major impacts of this severe weather event caused damaging hail, damaging winds, and 14 reported tornado touchdowns.

Rapid damage assessments reported potential damages in several northeastern counties with the most severe being Reading, Kan., located in eastern Lyon County. As a result of these assessments, the SEOC was activated to the Partial Activation level at 2230 hrs on Saturday, 21 May.

Preliminary damage assessments have been performed with immediate response efforts focused in the City of Reading.

As severe weather continued to threaten the state, the SEOC remained at a Partial Activation Level to monitor severe weather and tornado activity across the state Monday, 23 May, into Tuesday, 24 May.  The impacts from the storms on Tuesday, 24 May, began in the extreme South and Southwest areas of the state and moved up across the state throughout the day and night.

Several reports of power outages were recorded as well as wind and tree damages, power poles downed, roof damages, cars damaged, out buildings and barns damaged, and flash flooding.

Damage reports on Saturday, May 21, 2011:

Reading in Lyon County, Kan.:

  • Population: 247
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  • EF3 tornado (as determined by National Weather Service)


Preliminary Damage Assessments are complete:

  • Only change is to the number evaluated (110). This is a change from report #4 which was 100. No other changes.
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  • Kansas Assessment Team structural assessments complete
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  • All search-and-rescue operations are concluded.
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  • No unaccounted for citizens
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  • Reports indicate one confirmed fatality and five injuries in varying degrees of severity
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  • The shelter at the Emporia Senior Center in Emporia, Kan., is now closed
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  • Animal shelter is open at the Lyon County Fairgrounds
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  • Most power in city restored


Damage reports on Tuesday, May 24, and Wednesday, May 25:

Rush County, Kan:

  • A reported a tornado touchdown approximately 5 miles east of Bison, Kan., along Highway K-4.
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  • Damage to grain silo and outbuildings
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  • Estimates of 4.5 inches of rain in a 60-90 minute period causing flooding on roadways.
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  • Baseball to softball-sized hail.


Barton County, Kan.:

  • EF1 tornado (as determined by NWS)
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  • Weather caused a fire to a Great Bend apartment complex
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  • Weather caused minor damage at Great Bend Airport
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  • Weather caused flash flooding
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  • Several homes were reported destroyed in Ellinwood with one injury


Stafford County, Kan.:

  • Reported two confirmed fatalities and severe damages to vehicles and trees


From both weather events:

  • Number of confirmed fatalities: 3
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  • Number of reported injuries: 5
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  • Agriculture: No reports
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  • Hospital/medical: No hospital damage reported
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  • Natural gas: No damage reported
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  • Pipelines: No damage reported
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  • Phone service: North side of Reading phone service is out; South side of Reading phone service is operational.


This will serve as the final report for these two weather systems.