Daily Archives: 14 April, 2012

Stay away from downed power lines

Westar Energy is urging residents to steer clear of downed power lines, even if they see someone touching one.

Westar spokesman Leonard Allen said people should call 1-800 LIGHT KS (1-800-544-4857) and 911 immediately if they come across a downed power line. Always assume a downed line is live, he said.

If you see someone touching a downed line, don’t try to rescue them. You could become a victim yourself. If a power line falls on your car while you’re in it, stay in your car and wait for help. You are safe as long as you remain inside. If you must exit the car, jump – being careful not to touch the car and ground at the same time.

Tornado strikes south Wichita, bearing down on McConnell

Spotters have confirmed a large tornado is moving through south Wichita and is bearing down on McConnell Air Force Base. The tornado caused damage at 55th South and Broadway — which was also hit by the tornado of April 26, 1991.

Tornado emergency issued for Conway Springs

A tornado emergency has been issued for Conway Springs tonight, as a large confirmed tornado is closing in on the town.

Damage has been reported southwest of the town. This same storm is on a track that would threaten Haysville, Oaklawn and Derby, forecasters say.

The National Weather Service issued this report:

A CONFIRMED LARGE…VIOLENT AND EXTREMELY DANGEROUS TORNADO WAS LOCATED 5 MILES SOUTHWEST OF CONWAY SPRINGS…AND MOVING NORTHEAST AT 35 MPH.

Tornado warning issued for Sedgwick County

The National Weather Service has issued a tornado warning for Sedgwick County until 10:15 p.m. Take shelter now.

Kansas tornado count nears 50

The Storm Prediction Center has logged 69 reports of tornadoes so far today and tonight – all but 20 of them in Kansas.

Several of these reports are likely of the same tornado, but that will be sorted out in the days ahead.

No injuries have been reported — so far.

Tornado near Hillsboro could threaten historic church in Pilsen

A tornado that passed between Hesston and Moundridge tonight is on a track to threaten Pilsen, the hometown of Emil Kapaun, the Catholic priest being considered for sainthood by the Catholic Church.

Few people live in Pilsen, which has St. John Nepomucene Catholic Church as its centerpiece. The church, which was completed in 1915, has a statue of Kapaun assisting a wounded soldier in its courtyard. Kapaun died in prisoner of war camp in Korea in 1951. His efforts to aid wounded soldiers both in combat and in the POW camp so inspired fellow soldiers that they have been calling for Kapaun – who served as a chaplain in both World War II and the Korean War – to be declared a saint and receive the Medal of Honor.

What should Wichita watch? Here’s a projection

AccuWeather vice president Mike Smith has posted a projection of storms that could threaten the Wichita area later tonight. Both have produced large tornadoes in northern Oklahoma.

Tornado on the ground between Moundridge and Hesston

A stovepipe tornado is on the ground between Moundridge and Hesston, according to a KWCH storm chaser. This is being produced by a thunderstorm that had prompted a warning several minutes ago.

Tornado warning for parts of Harvey, Marion and McPherson counties

The National Weather Service has issued a tornado warning for portions of Harvey, Marion and McPherson counties until 8:15 p.m.

A strong thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado was located near Burrton shortly before 7:45 p.m. and was moving northeast at 40 miles an hour.

Moundridge, Hesston and Goessel are threatened by the storm, which is expected to cross I-135 between mile markers 36 and 51.

Tornado watch for much of Kansas – including Wichita metro area – until 2 a.m.

The National Weather Service has issued a tornado watch for 63 counties in western, central and eastern Kansas until 2 a.m. Sunday.

The Wichita metropolitan area is included in the watch area. Here is a map of the tornado watch, courtesy of the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla.

Violent, long-track tornadoes are possible well after sunset.