A series of deadly tornadoes hit northeast Kansas on Tuesday evening, adding more destruction to an already deadly and record-breaking tornado season.
The latest storms, one of them reportedly a mile wide, hit communities near Kansas City on Tuesday evening with residents in places like Linwood seeing their homes ripped apart.
No fatalities were reported in Kansas, but a dozen people were hospitalized with injuries including broken bones and lacerations from flying glass.
“This is a tornado EMERGENCY! If you live in these areas take shelter now! If you are driving pull over to a sturdy building and take shelter now!” the National Weather Service tweeted on Tuesday evening.
The tornadoes left a trail of destruction in their wake, including roofs torn off homes and downed trees and power lines. Storm debris forced the temporary closure of Kansas City International Airport.
Mark Duffin, 48, told the Kansas City Star that he grabbed a mattress, followed his 13-year-old to the basement and protected the two of them with the mattress as the home crashed down around them.
“I’m just glad I found my two dogs alive,” he said. “Wife’s alive, family’s alive, I’m alive. So, that’s it.”
After the storm passed, residents shared images of the damage caused on social media:
Tuesday’s storms came a day after 53 suspected tornadoes hit across eight states. Some of the worst damage was reported in Ohio, where storms hit the cities of Celina and Dayton. In Celina, an 81-year-old man was killed when high winds picked up a parked car and slammed it into his house while he slept.
Tuesday marked the 12th straight day when at least 8 tornadoes were reported, breaking a record dating back to 1980.
- So far this year, the National Weather Service has received 934 tornado reports, well up on the yearly average of 743 observed tornadoes.
- The majority of those reported sightings have come in the last 30 days alon,e with federal government weather forecasters logging preliminary reports of more than 500 tornadoes — though experts warn this figure will drop as it likely includes reports of the same twister seen by two or more people.
- 38 people have died in 10 tornadoes in the United States this year, including seven in the last week alone, across Iowa, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Ohio.
- The National Weather Service received more than 55 tornado reports in eight states Monday and Tuesday. Parts of Oklahoma and Kansas were still under tornado warnings on Tuesday.
The storm streak is caused by two factors: a high-pressure area in the Southeast and a cold trough trapped over the Rockies. The combination forces moist, warm air from the Gulf of Mexico into central U.S. states, sparking thunderstorms and tornadoes.
Forecasters are warning that the severe weather is unlikely to let up until late this week.
“Neither one of these large systems — the high over the Southeast or the trough over the Rockies — are showing signs of moving,” said Patrick Marsh, warning coordination meteorologist for the federal Storm Prediction Center. “It’s a little unusual for them to be so entrenched this late in the season.”
Cover: In this Tuesday, May 28, 2019 photo, a crumpled home lies in northwest Celina, Ohio, following a tornado that was part of a storm system that passed through Monday night. (Dan Melograna/Daily Standard via AP)