Many Kansas City area residents headed for their basements Sunday evening as tornado sightings set off sirens in some parts of the metro, but no serious damage was reported.
The National Weather Service said preliminary reports indicated two tornado touchdowns in Olathe, both near the Great Mall of the Great Plains. A tornado also apparently touched down south of Raymore, but the weather service was still evaluating the data on all three Sunday night.
Flash flood warnings were issued for parts of Johnson, Jackson and Cass counties as heavy rain fell across the southern half of the area into the night.
All day, the weather teetered between calm and stormy. Lightning strikes kept fire crews busy.
In Kansas City, Kan., for instance, two homes were set ablaze.
Two residents escaped from a home at 93 S. 15th St. when a smoke alarm sounded about 11:25 a.m. Fire in the attic and walls caused about $30,000 in damage.
Then at 11:30 a.m., families evacuated the Woodland Hills apartments at 1033 Forest Court after lightning struck the roof. The fire caused about $30,000 in damage.
Nobody was injured in either fire, but the Red Cross was helping two families from the apartment building.
Heavy rain, especially in the southern reaches of the metro area, made travel hazardous as night fell. More than four inches fell in some parts of Johnson County.
While a light rain fell in downtown Kansas City, Olathe saw a deluge. Flooding was widespread there. Some people had to be rescued after their vehicles were overtaken by high water.
Police closed off streets and reported limited visibility during the worst of it.
Low-lying areas elsewhere also flooded.
Strong winds and hail caused other damage.
Power outages were reported in parts of the area, mostly south of southernmost Interstate 435, but they were sporadic and isolated.