I-70 reopens in western Kansas

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This tree in southeast Wichita blew over, striking a man and breaking his leg. This tree in southeast Wichita blew over, striking a man and breaking his leg.
WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

Ferocious winds caused damage across much of Kansas, while a blizzard closed roads in western sections of the state.

A building in Centre USD 397 suffered roof and shingle damage. People have been asked to stay away from the building.  

Westbound lanes of Interstate 70 and several other highways in western Kansas were closed Wednesday evening because of blizzard conditions. The Kansas Department of Transportation said Thursday morning that westbound I-70 was closed from Hays to Colorado. The interstate has since reopened. 

The Kansas Highway Patrol reports at least four semi-trailer trucks were blown over Wednesday. A Wichita man was injured when a tree blew over on him, and winds tipped over a nearly 3,000-pound dinosaur statue at the Field Station Dinosaurs park in Derby.

The National Weather Service says a wind gust of 85 mph was reported near Weskan, with another gust of 75 mph south of Elkhart.

A high wind warning remains for nearly all of the state Thursday, with gusts expected to decline to between 50 to 60 mph gusts.

Check road conditions across the state at KanDrive.org.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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High winds whipping across KAKEland are knocking down everything from trees to traffic lights and power poles. 

Numerous wind-related accidents were reported across the city and surrounding areas Wednesday afternoon as wind gusts approached 60 mph. 

A stop light near Topeka and English blew down as well as power lines near K-96 and 21st Street, 79th and Hydraulic, as well as several other locations. 

There have also been reports of trees being blown down. One landed on a man, breaking his leg near Pawnee and Hydraulic. His neighbors say it was scary, but they're thankful he's OK. 

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The wind also took out a power pole in Haven and blew a tractor-trailer over on Highway 400 in Butler County. 

With the high winds, police are asking drivers to pay attention and slow down in case something blows into the road.

Most of Kansas should anticipate wind gusts of at least 60 mph. Later this evening and tonight, peak wind gusts could exceed 70 mph across Northwest Kansas.

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