Central Kansas Tornado Outbreak
KSAL Staff - Sun 01:00 AM 04/15/2012
This large, wedge tornado was on the ground for over a half-hour, and approached Salina last Spring. (photo by Tanner Colvin)
Over 100 tornadoes were reported Saturday afternoon and evening in several states, tearing roofs from buildings and blowing windows from a hospital.
Cars and airplanes have been flipped and power lines are down.
No serious injuries or loss of life were initially reported which could be credited to plenty of early warning. The warnings began Friday with forecasters predicting very severe storms during the weekend. It was only the second time in history the Storm Prediction Center had issued a high-risk warning over a day ahead.
In the Salina area in Central Kansas, two different large tornadoes were bearing down on the city at different times and each time the city avoided a direct hit. Hail up to the size of golf balls also fell in Salina.
KSAL Storm Spotter Henry Diehl followed a large wedge tornado for about a half-hour, as it approached Salina from Rice County. The tornado destroyed an oil rig, and downed numerous power poles and trees. It destroyed a home in the Marquette area.
There was damage in the Niles area, and in the New Cambria area, as tornadoes touched down. At least one farmstead near Niles was hit, with multiple out buildings receiving extensive damage.
There was also scattered damage in other areas, including multiple powerlines and trees down.
In the Wichita area, McConnell Air Force Base and Mid Continent Airport sustained damage, as did Spirit AeroSystems, a convenience store, and several homes.