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Johnson County Executive Airport, dozens of homes damaged by strong winds

Johnson County officials had planned a severe weather drill for Tuesday morning, but they got some real experience Monday night.

Several hangars were damaged and one was destroyed at Johnson County Executive Airport, and dozens of homes were damaged in Olathe and Leawood in the strong winds that ripped through the area about 8:30 p.m. Monday, officials said. There were no reported serious injuries, said County Manager Hannes Zacharias.

County Emergency Manager Dan Robeson said warning sirens were not sounded because spotters did not report seeing any tornadoes, and the National Weather Service in Pleasant Hill did not issue a tornado warning for the area.

“We don’t want to overwarn the public,” Robeson said.

The weather service determined the damage was consistent with straight-line winds of 80 to 85 mph.

The airport reopened for limited operations Tuesday morning, but officials were still assessing the damage. Olathe building inspectors and structural engineers from Burns & McDonnell were on site.

Each hangar has room for 14 planes, and all the spaces are leased. Airport Commission Executive Director Aaron Otto said Tuesday it was not yet known how many planes were damaged. One that lost a wheel listed on the airport apron at midday Tuesday with its wing touching the ground. Most of the damage occurred on the east side of the airport, but there was some damage to hangars on the airport’s west side.

The Johnson County Sheriff’s Office will continue to provide security during cleanup.

Matt Campbell: 816-234-4902, @MattCampbellKC

Robert A. Cronkleton: 816-234-4261, @cronkb

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