Weather News

An EF-4 tornado ripped through NE Kansas, injuring 18, weather service finds

A mile-wide tornado that ripped through northeast Kansas Tuesday evening was classified as an EF-4, according to preliminary findings released by the National Weather Service.

The tornado, with winds estimated up to 170 mph, touched down in southwestern Douglas County shortly after 6 p.m., heading northeast. It stayed on the ground for more than 31 miles before lifting in southern Leavenworth County, the weather service posted on Twitter. The weather service sent crews out on Wednesday to survey the damage.

Eighteen people were injured, it said. No deaths were reported.

The tornado caused widespread damage, tearing through dozens of homes and buildings south of Lawrence and in Linwood.

Then, just before 8 p.m., an EF-2 tornado swept through part of Clay County, impacting parts of Kearney and Excelsior Springs in Missouri.

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

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Kaitlyn Schwers covers breaking news and crime at night for The Kansas City Star. Originally from Willard, Mo., she spent nearly three years reporting in Arkansas and Illinois before returning to Missouri and joining The Star in 2017.