While Hurricane Matthew is approaching Florida’s coast, tornadoes, hail and strong winds hammered rural Saline and Cowley Counties, Kansas on September 6, 2016.
Destroyed homes, uprooted trees, power outage for thousands of residents, flooded trees… It’s getting a little late I think for tornadoes.
And then the rainbow! Like OMG!
Some of the heaviest damage was near the unincorporated southeast Saline County community of Kipp where a home was destroyed.
Here Wizard of Oz moment with the Tornado and rainbow:
Eyewitness News reporter Akeam Ashford spoke with that home’s owner, Lisa McDowell, who says her son left the house 20 minutes before the tornado hit.
Cell phone video captured the large funnel cloud accompanying the storm that ripped through Kipp, a community of 159 people.
Downed power lines prevented our crew from getting close to a home where a large barn was destroyed, two miles northeast of McDowell’s home.
McDowell’s family and friends dug through the dirt on their hands and knees for anything belonging to the family.
It’s really, really sad,” says McDowell. Your entire life, in a field or farther. It’s really depressing, but again, I keep reminding myself we’re safe and here. And I obviously have great friends that love us and are coming out to help.”
Crews began work to restore power for families. Downed power lines resulted in nearly 1,200 people losing electricity in Saline County.
Westar estimated a large area of Saline and Dickinson Counties would have power fully restored by 10 a.m. Friday.
Saline County sheriff’s deputies closed off several area roads because of the downed power lines, making it difficult to cross.
Thursday afternoon, storm damage in Cowley County included destruction of outbuildings and downed trees. About eight miles east of Winfield, a farmstead was hit, damaging several buildings on one property. Still, the property’s owners say they feel fortunate.
They say there’s a lot to clean up, but the family was not hurt. They say their animals and home are also OK.
Also in Cowley County, there were several reports of a tornado touching down near Cambridge, about 20 miles east of Winfield.
“It was a funnel, got a tail on the thing,” said Donald Dean, who lives just west of Cambridge. He was sitting outside watching the storm roll in.
“Right over the hill there going up through the pasture,” Dean said.
The storm brought down a few trees on a small road that runs parallel to Highway 160, and the trees now block the road.
One person said it also damaged some fence in this area and he had to spend the evening securing his family’s cattle.
Others say they saw the tornado touch down twice.
There are no reports of any injuries associated with Thursday’s storms. The main concern in Cowley County Thursday night into Friday morning was flooded roads that followed another system that rolled through the Winfield area. A second system did not impact Saline County.
Tornadoes don’t usually surprise these Kansans, but this time… You don’t see this in October. It’s getting a little late I think for tornadoes…