WICHITA, Kan. (WRIC) — The tornado that damaged more than 1,000 buildings in south-central Kansas reportedly generated winds up to 165 mph and carved a path of destruction nearly 13 miles long.
The National Weather Service said the tornado caused extensive damage Friday mostly in Andover, Witchita. Several people were injured.
Andover Fire Chief Chad Russell said that a total of 1,074 buildings were damaged. The Weather Service said the tornado was on the ground for 21 minutes Friday evening.
Four people, including two firefighters who were responding to a call in Andover, were injured during the storm but their injuries were minor.
“The city of Andover will be affected by this for years,” Russell said. “We still have scars from 1991 (EF-5 tornado). I’m so thankful this tornado was not as bad as that, but we will literally be doing this for years.”
In addition to the storm damage, the Oklahoma State Patrol said three University of Oklahoma meteorology students were killed in a car crash about 85 miles north of Oklahoma City in Oklahoma Friday evening. They returned from storm chasing the tornado in Kansas when they hydroplaned and were struck by another vehicle.
Most of us in Central VA will experience gusty winds with these storms and possibly some small hail mixing in this evening. The tornado threat seems to be low and far southwest but Virginians definitely still need to remain diligent for today.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.