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Storms surround central Kansas
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The severe weather that was expected Saturday arrived on cue, with the National Weather Service prompting people to take shelter whenever tornados were spotted.
Tornado watches were issued for most of Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma on Saturday. Destructive hail was expected with many of the storms, which sometimes included tornados wrapped in rain and not immediately visible to storm spotters.
The weather prompted Macksville High School to reschedule Saturday’s prom to today. The Larned High School play was also canceled Saturday with another performance added on Monday.
There were reports that a home, barn and shed in Rush Center were damaged by afternoon storms.
By 7 p.m. the Associated Press reported that the massive storm system had churned up at least six tornadoes in rural western Kansas, including one north of Dodge City that was on the ground for about half an hour. But at that time outbuildings and an old schoolhouse were the only other structures reported damaged. The tornado that caused that structural damage was reported seven miles south of Hanston in Hodgeman County.
National Weather Service meteorologist Mike Scott said tornadoes also were reported near Sawyer in Pratt County, near Seward in Stafford County and near Timken and Rush Center in Rush County.
At 2:25 p.m., three active tornados had been spotted and warnings issued for several Kansas counties. A tornado in southeast Kansas bypassed Bucklin and moved into the area of Burdett at 2:41 p.m. A second tornado three miles southwest of Burdett was seen at 3 p.m. moving toward Rush Center.
At 4:13 p.m. a warning was issued for northwest Barton County and southwest Russell County. A storm capable of producing a tornado was seen near Otis. Affected areas included Susank, Galatia, Gorham and Milberger.
At 4:18 p.m. a tornado warning was issued for northeast Stafford County. Residents near Hudson were urged to take shelter. Strong rotation and a possible tornado were reported five miles west of Hudson. The storm later clipped Barton County, passing south of Ellinwood and moving into western Rice County.
Storms were threatening Bucklin and Greensburg for a second time Saturday around 8:15 p.m.
Severe weather was expected to continue into the night. Scattered thunderstorms are predicted for Sunday.