Storm hit Trego County, blowing out windows and power lines

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Photo: Amanda Uhl? - WaKeeney Photo: Amanda Uhl? - WaKeeney
Photo: Kiley Beach - WaKeeney Photo: Kiley Beach - WaKeeney

Trego County authorities are tallying the damage after a storm carrying large hail damaged homes and businesses throughout the county.

Emergency Management Director Kathleen Fabrizius says softball-sized hail hit the county Thursday afternoon, overturning vehicles, downing power lines and causing accidents across the county.

She says windows at the courthouse, a nursing home and the WaKeeney Family Care Center were blown out. The hospital was closed and patients were routed to the emergency room during the storm. Power was out for several hours in WaKeeney and parts of the county.

Kansas Highway Patrol spokesman Tod Hileman says there was evidence of a tornado near Cedar Bluff Lake in north-central Kansas after the storm brought down power lines and trees. Thick fog developed in the area, causing numerous crashes.

Previous KAKE News updates:

A deadly crash on Interstate 70 may be due to Thursday's severe storms in parts of Kansas.

The Highway Patrol reports Gail Moller of Ponca City, Oklahoma, 56, drove a car that was rear-ended by another car on westbound Interstate 70 in Trego County around 4:30 p.m. Moller's car wound up on the other side of the highway. The car who collided with her then swung to the right and hit the back of a truck with a utility trailer.

The other two drivers and one passenger were not hurt in the collision.

Severe storms pounded parts of western Kansas with large hail and damaging winds Thursday afternoon. 

Storms initially developed initially in western Kansas at around 2 p.m. Tornado warnings were issued for several northwest Kansas counties. Trooper Tod Hileman with the Kansas Highway Patrol said on Twitter that a tornado struck south of I-70 between Cedar Bluff Lake and the interstate. He said power lines were down and trees were damaged. 

The Patrol reported baseball-sized hail and a semi blown over near WaKeeney on I-70. The National Weather Service said hail damaged homes and numerous vehicles. 

WaKeeney had also lost power. 

A severe thunderstorm watch until 9 p.m. includes the counties of Barton, Clay, Cloud, Dickinson, Ellis, Ellsworth, Gove, Graham, Harvey, Kingman, Lane, Lincoln, Logan, Marion, McPherson, Mitchell, Ness, Osborne, Ottawa, Pawnee, Pratt, Reno, Rice, Rooks, Rush, Russell, Saline, Scott, Sedgwick, Stafford, Trego and Wichita. 

Storms will likely increase in intensity and coverage as they track south and east. These storms could easily produce wind gusts that could top 70 mph and hail stones that could exceed 2 inches. While the tornado threat is low, a brief, isolated tornado can’t be ruled out while storms are isolated.

Storms could merge into a line this evening and if the merger occurs the greatest threat will quickly shift to high wind. Storms will track toward Wichita this evening into the overnight. If severe weather makes it to Wichita it will likely be after 7 p.m.

Stay tuned for updates and alerts as this forecast evolves. We’ll keep you up to date with our Interactive Radar and LIVE weather coverage. Get those features and more on the free First Alert Weather App. With the app you can track storms in your area, stream the latest forecast videos and live severe weather coverage, and set customized alerts to keep you and your family informed and safe.

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