No tornado touchdown in Leavenworth County

By John Richmeier
Leavenworth Times – March 8, 2017

A tornado warning was issued Monday evening for Leavenworth County. But the storm passed through the county without a confirmed tornado touchdown, emergency management officials said.

There were reports of wind damage and hail from the storm.

Outdoor warning sirens were activated around 7 p.m. Monday.

“There was rotation within the storm cloud,” said Chuck Magaha, director of Leavenworth County Emergency Management.

Deputy Emergency Management Director Kim Buchanan said the storm did result in tree damage. A couple of power transformers also were reported damaged in the storm, and there were a number of downed power lines. Power outages were reported.

Much of the storm damage was reported in the southern area of the county.

Magaha said rainfall in the county was limited.

Rick Huhn, chief of Leavenworth County Fire District No. 1, said members of his department responded to two grass fires that supposedly had been sparked by lightning. But the fires apparently had been extinguished by rain before firefighters arrived.

Huhn said one of the fires was reported in the area of 209th Street and Springdale Road. And the other was a couple of miles south of that location.

Members of Fire District No. 1 also responded to a house that reportedly had been struck by lightning in the Alexandria Township. But this lightning strike did not result in a fire.

While winds were strong as the storm moved through the county, winds of about the same speed had been recorded earlier in the day, Magaha said.

The county was under a wind advisory Monday with wind speeds reaching as much as 58 mph. Another wind advisory was issued Tuesday.

Tornados were reported elsewhere Monday night in the greater Kansas City area.

“We were very fortunate,” Buchanan said.

Emergency warning sirens sounded again Tuesday morning. But this time it occurred for a statewide tornado drill. The drill was part of Severe Weather Awareness Week.

Magaha said the sirens are intended to provide outdoor warnings. People may not be able to hear the sirens while indoors.

He recommended that people purchase all hazard weather radios to alert them while they are in their homes.

Leavenworth County was under a red flag warning Tuesday because dry and windy conditions resulted in an extreme danger of fire. In fact, all of the state of Kansas was under a red flag warning.

Buchanan said burn permits have not been issued for unincorporated areas of the county for about a week because of dangerous fire conditions. She said the area desperately needs rain.

Magaha was preparing to leave Tuesday to provide assistance in another area of the state that is impacted by wildfires.

He said there are several major fires burning in different areas of the state.

Magaha did not know Tuesday morning where he will be sent to provide mutual aid. Magaha said he either will be providing emergency management support or serve as an incident commander.

Two members of the Kickapoo Township Fire Department left Monday to assist with a fire in Reno County.

Later in the week, there is a chance for rain and even snow in the Leavenworth area.

There is a chance for rain Friday night which may change into snow in the early morning hours of Saturday, according to a forecast on a National Weather Service website.

There is a chance for additional rain and snow during the day on Saturday.


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page

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