Heavy rainfall causes flash flooding
Rain and hail fell over the Kansas City area Tuesday night as storms moved in from Kansas.
A tornado warning was briefly issued in Cass County and then cancelled by the National Weather Service. Several sightings of a funnel cloud were reported near Archie.
In Kansas City, thunderstorms brought flash flooding to parts of the city, as up to three inches of rain fell within a few hours.
Hail up to 1-inch in diameter was reported at multiple locations in the Kansas City area.
By 11:45 p.m., storms had moved east of Kansas City through Independence and Lee’s Summit. All severe thunderstorm warnings in the area expired, though some storms continued east.
High water was reported across the city. The Westport area was impassible about 11 p.m. The flash flood warning would last in Kansas City until 5 a.m., according to the weather service.
Kansas City had escaped the first line of thunderstorms that fired up across Kansas on Tuesday afternoon. In the evening, storms moved over the city, but they were weaker than what had been expected just hours before.
Storms started forming in south-central Kansas at midafternoon Tuesday and moved northeast across the state.
By 8 p.m., storms had lost much of their strength before moving into Johnson and Leavenworth counties. A storm that had produced 52 mph winds in Lawrence was reduced to 30 to 45 mph by the time it reached Leavenworth.
By 9 p.m., rain and pea-size hail fell over parts of the Kansas City area. The National Weather Service announced a severe thunderstorm watch from downtown Kansas City south across several counties, to remain in effect until 2 a.m.
Winds up to 65 mph and hail bigger than an inch in diameter were possible, according to the weather service. The strongest storms were expected in eastern Kansas, south of Interstate 70.
Earlier Tuesday, a spotter in Sumner County south of Wichita reported a brief “rope tornado” just before 4 p.m. There were no immediate reports of tornado-related damage.
The storms produced large hail in widely scattered parts of Kansas and several tornado warnings, including one in the Topeka area around evening rush hour. The danger had passed Topeka by 5:45 p.m., according to Shawnee County officials.
The largest hail was reported in Marshall County in northeastern Kansas. Spotters reported stones as large as 4 inches in diameter.
Golfball-size hail was reported around 5:30 p.m. in Wichita. One-inch-diameter hail was also reported near Manhattan, where tornado sirens sounded for a short time. Hail nearly the size of a dime was reported in Lawrence on Tuesday evening.
In Shawnee County, more than 2 inches of rain fell Tuesday afternoon, causing some roads to flood.
About 9 p.m., the Topeka Fire Department sent crews to the nearby community of Willard to help evacuate homes threatened by flooding. No injuries were reported.