LINWOOD, Kan. — A large tornado touched down Tuesday, striking the southeast portion of Lawrence, according to the National Weather Service.
The weather service issued a tornado emergency for Kansas City, Missouri and its densely populated western suburbs. The agency later issued tornado warnings for several counties northeast of KC and said one, possibly two tornadoes might have touched down in Clay County.
Along with twisters in Ohio and scorching heat in the South, the Kansas and Missouri tornadoes were part of the severe weather engulfing parts of the country.
While residents in Linwood, Kansas, 15 miles east of Lawrence, appeared to be safe, dozens of homes just outside city limits are “all gone,” Linwood Mayor Brian Christenson told CNN in a phone interview.
Christenson said he sheltered in his basement along with about 20 other residents as the tornado moved through shortly before 7 p.m. The mayor said crews and residents are out helping each other in Linwood.
“We have local crews moving stuff around. City crews are moving with tractors, a lot of civilians are helping cut trees off cars and off houses,” he said.
The mayor, who surveyed the damage, reported seeing roofs torn off of homes.
In Lawrence, police said most of the structural damage appears to have occurred near Lawrence. But downed trees and power lines, and debris make some Lawrence roads impassable.
Douglas County Emergency Management tells FOX4 they have 10 injuries reported. Six of the injured are being treated at Lawrence Memorial Hospital.
The storm debris closed the airfield at Kansas City International Airport, delaying flights, the airport said. At one point, thousands were without power in Douglas County and many metro counties.