Kansas suffers ‘significant damage’ as 17 million Americans face storm risk

Many regions bracing for more extreme weather on Monday

Stuti Mishra
Monday 20 May 2024 08:22 BST
Deadly US storms

Kansas suffered “significant damage” after powerful storms lashed the central United States on Sunday, three days after extreme weather left seven people dead in the Houston area.

Power lines were downed, and homes, businesses and vehicles were damaged as heavy gusts of winds tore through Russell county in Kansas, officials said.

The National Weather Service had warned of 80 to 100 mph destructive winds, large hail and a few tornadoes in the region extending to Oklahoma.

The severe weather threat included the potential for a derecho, a storm similar to the one that left seven people dead in Houston, caused massive damage to properties reported and left nearly one million people without power.

“The storm that hit Russell this afternoon caused significant damage across the community, including the electric distribution system, homes, businesses and vehicles,” officials wrote on Facebook. “At least three structures have been levelled.”

“The electric crews are still isolating the damaged areas of the system before they can begin restoring power.”

Substantial damage was also reported in and around Wichita, Kansas, which reportedly saw winds of 75 mph.

Ellis county reported up to three inches of hail while many regions braced for extreme weather on Monday.

“The storms in Newton and Sedgwick counties have produced structural damage, downed power lines, and turned over semis,” the weather service in Wichita said on X and warned of “80-90 mph winds”.

“Seek shelter now in southern Marion, southern Chase, and northern Butler Counties!”

Tornado, severe thunderstorm and flash flood warnings were issued across several states on Sunday.

More than 17 million people continue to live under a level 2 out of 5 risk, according to the Storm Prediction Centre, which includes portions of Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri and Iowa, and portions of Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin in the Midwest.

Kansas City, Chicago, Milwaukee are all under a level 2 risk, which refers to slight danger of storms.

Meanwhile, thousands of people are grappling with sweltering heat in Houston as officials struggle to restore power.

Temperatures are predicted to rise in the first half of this week, reaching 100F on Tuesday.

The largest electricity provider in the region, CenterPoint Energy, estimated that 80 per cent of its 2.6 million customers would have power restored by Sunday night but many residents may have to wait longer.

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