Weather News

Tornado that slammed Clay County, Missouri was EF-2: National Weather Service

The tornado that hit Clay County Tuesday night, including portions of Kearney and Excelsior Estates, was an EF-2 with wind speeds of 115 mph, according to the National Weather Service.

It swept through the area just before 8 p.m. and traveled a nearly six-mile path running the length of almost four football fields.

No injuries were reported, but the tornado left a path of mangled roofs, uprooted trees and scattered debris.

Weather officials estimated that at least two tornadoes hit the region Tuesday night. The first tornado tore through portions of Douglas County and Linwood in Kansas and a second landed in Clay County and pushed through southeast Kearney into southwestern Excelsior Estates.

A survey team traveled through Clay County Wednesday morning, collecting storm data and assessing tornado damage. This enabled surveyors to assign an EF-scale grade to the tornado, according to the weather service.

The tornadoes developed as part of a warm front that hovered over the Kansas City metropolitan area, the weather service said. The same system stretched east and west across the region.

A tornado was spotted near Missouri 33 on the south side of Kearney near the high school and another sighting came at nearby Mosby, Missouri. The tornado moved north of Excelsior Estates and was spotted west of Excelsior Estates, according to weather officials.

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Glenn E. Rice covers crime, courts and breaking news for The Kansas City Star, where he’s worked since 1988. Rice is a Kansas City native and a graduate of the University of Central Missouri.