Two rounds of severe weather kept Kansas City, Kan.-area residents on their toes Thursday night and early Friday morning, knocking down road signs, tree limbs and leaving thousands without power.


 

Two rounds of severe weather kept Kansas City, Kan.-area residents on their toes Thursday night and early Friday morning, knocking down road signs, tree limbs and leaving thousands without power.

About 7 p.m. Thursday, the first set of storms moved through the area, prompting the National Weather Service to issue a tornado warning for the county.

Officials in the Unified Government’s Emergency Operations Center said storm spotters had identified rotating clouds near Edwardsville and Bonner Springs but said that rotation didn’t produce a tornado on the ground.

Edwardsville Public Works officials Friday reported no significant damage but added that a few small trees were blown over.

At the same time, a UG Board of Commissioners meeting was just getting under way at City Hall when the building’s public address system told the 200 people in attendance of the warning.

County Administrator Dennis Hays directed people to the basement of City Hall, where they gathered for about 30 minutes to wait out the storm.

Officials reported that the county’s emergency siren system was activated three times between 7 and 8 p.m. Spotters reported marble-sized hail and traffic incidents along Interstate 70.

A second round of storms moved into the area about 1:30 a.m. Friday morning, causing wind damage across the county.

Kansas City Board of Public Utilities spokeswoman Susan Allen said that as of noon Friday, more than 3,500 BPU customers across the utility’s service territory were still without power.

“It’s mostly blocks of residences or a few customers near each other or individual customers who are without power,” Allen said.

She added the utility had already repaired three feeder lines that had gone out.

KCK Fire Department spokesman Craig Duke said fire and EMS crews responded to 23 storm-related calls Thursday night and Friday morning, including 17 reports of arcing power lines or tree limbs on power lines and one structural fire.

A number of trees were damaged by the storm along Interstate 70 near the Turner Diagonal. A few highway signs were also damaged.

No Wyandotte County school districts were affected by the power outages, and all schools were open on Friday.

The weather comes nearly five years to the day after tornado outbreak that struck the Kansas City area and Wyandotte County. Those storms caused significant damage near The Woodlands racetrack before tracing northeast through the county and into Missouri.

Kansas City Kansan