KANSAS (KSNW) — Governor Laura Kelly has issued a State of Disaster Emergency Declaration for Kansas.

Severe weather began to hit Kansas Thursday evening and increased into Friday night. These storms produced small and large hail, strong winds, and multiple tornadoes that caused damage to buildings, trees, and power lines in several counties.

As of 8:57 p.m. on Friday, April 29, Kelly issued the emergency declaration. This activates the disaster response and recovery portions of the Kansas Response Plan, authorizing state resources to increase local jurisdictions with the response and recovery efforts in areas impacted statewide.

“We have learned from past experience that we can’t wait for the storm to hit before we respond,” Gov. Kelly said. “By taking these steps early, we are able to more quickly react when the counties ask for assistance.”

According to a news release, “The State Emergency Operations Center has received several reports of damages and ongoing efforts for search and rescue as well as damage assessments. Power lines, homes, and outbuildings have been reported as preliminary damages across numerous counties. Storms are ongoing, so most of the assessments are too early to detail currently.”

The Kansas Division of Emergency Management also activated the State Emergency Operations Center in Topeka to a “Level 2 — Enhanced Steady State.” Their staff will remain in contact with county emergency managers for additional information as storms continue across the state. Affected counties are still assessing damages.