Eureka tornado: Town takes a 'direct hit,' 8 injuredPosted: Updated:
Officials say eight people were hurt and widespread damage has been reported after an EF-3 tornado ripped through the small eastern Kansas town of Eureka.
The tornado touched down at 7:18 p.m. Tuesday and was on the ground for six minutes. Greenwood County Emergency Management said on Twitter that the community of about 2,400 people took a "direct hit."
At least two of the injured are at Wesley Medical Center. A man is in critical condition and his wife is in fair condition.
The National Weather Service reports the twister had an estimated peak wind of 152 mph and carved a two-mile path that was 250 yards wide. Greenwood County Sheriff Matt Samuels said 10 homes were considered a total loss.
July 2016: Tornado leaves widespread damage in Eureka
Westar Energy reported nearly 1,400 of its customers were still without power Wednesday afternoon. A majority of customers should have service restored by 9 p.m.
Eureka resident Christian Leis said he had three or four minutes warning before the tornado hit.
"I was praying to God that everyone and everything would be OK," Leis said.
Gov. Jeff Colyer declared a state of disaster emergency in the county about an hour after the storm tore through.
The Red Cross set up a shelter at the Methodist Church, 521 North Main. Churches at 12th and Main and at River and Jefferson have opened their doors to victims.
Greenwood County Emergency Management said volunteers are not needed right now due to the number of power lines down in the area. Volunteers who want to help with the cleanup are urged to arrive on Thursday.
A "very weak and brief" tornado was also reported in El Dorado. KAKE's Tony Laubach reported that the tornado was on the ground for approximately 30 seconds. Baseball sized hail was also reported near 6th and Boyer in El Dorado at approximately 7:55 p.m.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.