No injuries were reported, but Barton County residents headed for their storm shelters Sunday as a tornado warning was issued by the National Weather Service at 6:21 p.m. The storm caused property damage and left some people without electricity, Sheriff Brian Bellendir said.
The storm damaged crops, trees and a few buildings, including buildings at the feedlot south of Ellinwood.
Severe weather developed shortly after 5 p.m. Sunday in Barton County. The Barton County Sheriff’s Office reported several strong storm cells developed at various locations in the county.
As the tornado warning began, a large funnel cloud was observed just north of Great Bend but did not develop into a tornado. At the same time, funnel clouds were observed west of Ellinwood moving southeast.
Meteorologist Kevin Darmofal with the NWS office in Wichita said the tornado warning was issued for Barton and Rice counties. The area remained under a “hazardous weather outlook” Monday and thunderstorms could also be severe on Tuesday, when flooding will be a concern, Darmofal said.
Barton County Sheriff Brian Bellendir said deputies check area homes but found no casualties in the area Sunday. They discovered damage near the intersection of SE 30 Road and SE 120 Ave.
“Several structures at Barton County Feeders were damaged as well as other agricultural buildings and equipment in the area. Power lines were also destroyed,” Bellendir said, noting some residences in the southeast part of the county remained without power Monday morning.
“It appears a tornado was on the ground for approximately 2 miles,” the sheriff continued. “Golf-ball size hail was also observed in the area.”
A flash flood watch remains in effect through Wednesday evening for central, south-central and southeast Kansas. Thunderstorms, some severe, were predicted from Monday afternoon through Tuesday afternoon. Storms could bring downpours, large hail, damaging winds and tornados.
The BCSO will continue to monitor the weather, Bellendir said.