Severe storms batter parts of Kansas

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High winds Thursday knocked over a tree onto a car near Hutchinson. The incident caused minor injuries to people inside. High winds Thursday knocked over a tree onto a car near Hutchinson. The incident caused minor injuries to people inside.

More than 1,000 people in south-central Kansas remained without power Friday morning, after damaging severe storms moved through.

Westar Energy showed outages in metro Wichita, the Hutchinson area, Peabody and southeast of Kingman, among other places. The utility set a goal of restoring service throughout the Wichita and Hutchinson areas by 9:00 a.m.

Four people escaped with minor injuries in Reno County when high winds blew a tree onto their moving SUV. Two adults and two children had only minor cuts.

"They were on their way home and the craziest thing happened," said Reno County Sheriff's Deputy Mike Morrell. The weather was crazy for him as well, as he tried to respond. "The wind was blowing my vehicle around quite a bit and it was raining really hard."

Winds from the storm were clocked as high as 84 miles per hour in Colwich. A gust blew off part of a gas station's roof in Inman. Hail was also an issue, as it was the size of grapefruit near Kiowa.

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Severe thunderstorm watches for much of Kansas turned to warnings Thursday in Western then Central Kansas. 

Winds upwards of 80 miles per hour, hail, heavy rain and lightning battered the area from early afternoon well into the evening. 

Storms started popping up near Hays about 3 p.m. and moved across Kansas to the south and east.

Large hail measuring more than two inches in diameter was reported just west of Hays near Riga about 3:30 p.m. Similar large sized hail was later reported near Kiowa. 

As the storms moved into Central and South Central Kansas heavy winds began emerging as a significant threat. 

Gusts were reported at more than 80 miles per hour near Valley Center. Winds caused roof damage in Sedgwick County and toppled a tractor trailer in McPherson County shortly after 5 p.m. 

A tree was blown on top of a car in Hays, causing minor injuries to those inside. 

The storms hit the Wichita area in the 7:00 p.m. hour. Similar heavy gusts downed tree limbs and caused minor damage across the metro. 

The most likely threat through the overnight is hail and high wind. Hail stones could approach and even top golf ball size and wind gusts could exceed 70mph. While a tornado can’t be completely ruled out, the chances of tornadoes look quite low at this time.

Storms were expected to exit KAKEland by midnight.

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