Tornado-producing storms move through western Kansas Tuesday night
(KWCH) - Wednesday evening update: An EF0 tornado moved through Sharon Springs Tuesday night causing damage at the local golf course. It was one of several tornado touchdowns in western Kansas.
Community members gathered Wednesday to clean up the damage. Half of the roof was ripped off a shed and tossed into the driving range. Wallace County Commission Ronnie Hill said city corkers, county employees and some local businesses are all pitched in to help remove the debris.
He said the golf course received the most damage and will be the most expensive to fix.
“With the two buildings, we are probably looking at $70,000 to $80,000, with the two sheds anyway. Looks like our equipment pretty well survived. So, we were kinda lucky there,” said Hill.
Sharon Springs Golf Course Manager Dan Parks said the golf course thrives on volunteers. He said about 20 years ago, a fire burnt down the shed and all of the equipment inside. Parks said volunteers, like himself, rebuilt the shed, and it’s the help from the community that keeps the course open.
“This is strictly run by volunteer work. All of this course is completely volunteer. I come out and mow, other guys mow. We take care of the greens, there is no greens keeper on. We pay nobody. So, the only thing we have is nothing but volunteers to keep it going and it’s kind of the pride of the county,” said Parks.
Parks said there was no other damage to the golf course, and the community plans to repair the sheds as quickly as possible.
Hill said he’s thankful there were no injuries and the damage shouldn’t stop community golfers from hitting the links this weekend.
Wednesday afternoon update: Crews were out assessing the damage in Ford County Wednesday morning. They found an irrigation system that was knocked over by Tuesday night’s storms along with three toppled tractors, barn damage and an electronic road sign.
A lightning strike caused in Lincoln County caused a boil water advisory to be issued for Sylvan Grove. Officials said lightning struck the water tower and damaged some pipes. Under a boil advisory, customers are asked to boil water for one minute prior to drinking or preparing food.
Winds caused a little storm damage in Wichita Wednesday morning. They were strong enough to knock out this traffic light near 29th and Maize Road. It caused some traffic congestion, but no one was hurt. The intersection is back to normal.
11:30 p.m. - Several people are without power in western Kansas after rain and strong winds blew through town Tuesday night.
Pioneer Electric Cooperative said portions of Ulysses are currently without power, and customers south of Sublette and near Rolla may also be without power due to the storms.
The Victory Electric Cooperative Association there were several outages in its coverage area due to the storms.
Both companies said crews are working to restore the outage as quickly and safely as possible. No estimated time of restoration was given.
10:30 p.m. - A tornado has been spotted 5 miles northwest of Dodge City, moving northeast. If you live in the area, you should take cover now. Move to a basement or an interior room on the lowest floor of a sturdy building. Avoid windows. If you are outdoors, in a mobile home, or in a vehicle, move to the closest substantial shelter and protect yourself from flying debris.
The tornado warning for Ford County, including Dodge City, goes until 10:45 p.m. Heavy rainfall and strong winds have been reportedly moving through town.
Storm Team 12 says storms will continue to move west to east overnight, reaching central Kansas between 1 and 3 a.m. and the Wichita and Hutchinson area between 3 and 5 a.m. The main threat remains from Ness City back into northern Oklahoma.
Stay ahead of the weather with the Always On Storm Team 12: https://www.kwch.com/stormteam-12/.
10:17 p.m. - Eastbound I-70 is closed west of Grinnell due to a blown-over semi. The Kansas Highway Patrol said the highway is closed between exit 70 and exit 76. According to a tweet from Trooper Tod Hileman, traffic is being routed to US 83 south to US 40, then back to I-70 eastbound at the 76 milepost for an unknown amount of time.
9:50 p.m. Storm Team 12 said a tornado was been confirmed near the town of Copeland in the southwest corner of Gray County. The threat has since shifted north of Copeland and west of Montezuma. No damage has been reported.
Another storm near Garden City was packed with winds approaching 70 mph. Those storms have now pushed on to the east.
9:40 p.m. - A tornado watch has been extended into central Kansas - including Wichita, Salina, and Hutchinson - until 5 a.m. Storms will continue to move east overnight with a threat mainly for damaging wind gusts, but hail and an isolated tornado or two will also remain possible.
9:10 p.m. - A tornado warning has been issued for Gove County until 9:45 p.m. Storm Team 12 Chief meteorologist Ross Janssen says the radar indicates strong rotation close to Oakley and I-70. People who live in Oakley should seek shelter now.
Follow continuous coverage on Always On Storm Team 12.
8 p.m. - More than a hundred people are without power in Sharon Springs after the report of a tornado touchdown.
The tornado reportedly struck a golf course on the south side of town and downed several power lines.
Sharon Springs is located in Wallace County, which was under a tornado warning until 8:30 p.m. along with Logan County.
Much of northwest Kansas remains under a Tornado Watch until 11 p.m. The Hoxie Police Department has opened up a community shelter at 1117 Sheridan Ave. at the Bowen Scout House.
“If storms become severe and you need to take shelter, use the south door and go to the basement,” said the sheriff’s office.
There are also storm damage reports in Goodland where the window of a customer’s car was knocked out and a small tree was uprooted by a possible tornado. No warnings have been issued for that area at this time.
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