The National Weather Service in Pleasant Hill confirmed that two tornadoes touched down in Jackson County and one in Cass County during Wednesday’s evening storms.
The more powerful of the three tornadoes touched down in Lee’s Summit shortly before 7 p.m., said Scott Blair, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.
A survey team determined that tornado to be an EF1. The tornado hit a strip mall near Northeast Douglas Street and Tudor Road the hardest, causing an uplifting of the roof as well as shingle, tree and power line damage. The tornado traveled one mile south and was 100 yards wide.
The second tornado briefly touched down about 7:05 p.m. about 2 1/2 miles east, southeast of Lee’s Summit near U.S. 50 and Todd George Road. The EF0 tornado mainly damaged trees. The tornado traveled 250 yards and was 50 yards wide.
The third tornado struck shortly after 8 p.m. about 2 miles west, southwest of Pleasant Hill. The EF0 tornado traveled 1.5 miles and was 100 yards wide.
No injuries were reported.
“The environment was certainly favorable for supercell storms and low level environment that would favor the potential for tornadoes,” Blair said. “We certainly should feel fortunate that with these storms moving through such populated areas that the damage was kept to a rather minimum.”
From The Star’s previous coverage:
Multiple tornadoes ripped through Lee’s Summit before 7 p.m. Wednesday and put the Kansas City area on edge before sunset.
High winds and flooding also caused some damage in Lee’s Summit, the city’s Fire Department reported. The Lee’s Summit Police Department said it had no reports of injuries.
The first funnel cloud was reported about 6:25 p.m. near Unity Village, moving southeast. A small tornado struck at a strip mall near Northeast Douglas Street and Tudor Road, near the Lee’s Summit police station and Lee’s Summit North High School. Several buildings were damaged and a fireworks trailer and tent were overturned near the high school. The Lee’s Summit Fire Department said the trailer and tent were unoccupied.
Most of the damage was to exterior siding, awnings and roof top heating and cooling units, according to the city.
People in Plato’s Closet, a used clothing store, ran to the nearby police station just before the tornado hit, winds sending bits of concrete roofing tile flying.
“It was scary,” said Felicia LaBelle of Whiteman Air Force Base. “But everyone’s OK. That’s what matters.”
Some cars in the strip mall lot were pushed into others and several had broken windows.
Kevin Kern came back and found the hatchback of his parents’ van had been snapped up and over the roof of the vehicle.
The strip mall appeared to have experienced the heaviest damage. Authorities closed the businesses after gas and electricity were cut because of damaged lines.
A second funnel was seen later in the evening at Missouri 150 and Ward Road, police said. However, there was no reports of significant damage.
Torrential rains caused flash flooding and closed some roads. The flooding damaged some buildings in the southern part of the city, mainly in the area of Missouri 291 and Missouri 150.
Authorities closed Missouri 291 at Hook Road for a short time because of flooding. Lee’s Summit police also helped a person from a flooded basement in the 300 block of Southeast Missouri 291.
City officials warned residents to use caution when removing fallen tree limbs Thursday, especially if the limbs are touching downed or low hanging power lines.
There were also reports of a tornado in Pleasant Hill.
Kansas City Power & Light’s website showed more than 4,000 customers without electricity about 7:40 p.m. Wednesday.
Some public service agencies urged people to take cover as a potentially brutal storm swept through.
The Raytown Fire Protection District tweeted a picture of an apparent tornado.
The National Weather Service in Pleasant Hill allowed portions of the tornado watch, including the Kansas City area, to expire about 11 p.m. Wednesday.
The National Weather Service in Pleasant Hill issued the watch for much of west-central Missouri and east-central Kansas. Its weather map at 7:20 p.m. showed a multicounty tornado warning area roughly between Raytown and Warrensburg, with severe thunderstorms plowing eastward.
Heavy rains that came with the high winds triggered flood warnings across the area.