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NWS confirms tornado damage
Ellinwood storm May 2024
The National Weather Service confirmed that damage from Sunday's storm in Barton County near Ellnwood was caused by a tornado.

WICHITA — The National Weather Service of Wichita damage survey team confirmed Tuesday two areas of tornado damage from Sunday’s storms. One was northwest of Russell and the other was northeast of Wilson.

Both tornadoes were rated an EF-1. There were no injuries from either tornado.

The NWS had survey teams out Monday assessing storm damage in Halstead, Newton and Russell after the severe storms hit Sunday.

The strongest wind gusts in the state were recorded at 100 mph at the Salina airport. The Newton and Halstead areas saw 60 mph wind gusts, according to the NWS.

The NWS received 15 reports of tornadoes Sunday in Kansas, Oklahoma and Colorado, with six of those reported in Russell, Ellsworth, Lincoln and Osage County.

NWS reported Tuesday that a suspected tornado that hit rural Ellinwood Sunday evening was upgraded to a confirmed tornado that has been classified as “EF-unknown.”

For a tornado to obtain an EF rating, tornado damage has to be inspected and evaluated to determine a force characteristic, or video of the tornado in action must be evaluated, the Wichita office noted.

Russell tornado

The confirmed tornado just northwest of Russell had estimated peak winds of 98 mph and a path length of 1.7 miles from west of the intersection of 183rd Street and 15th Street Road northeast to 184th/Vawn Houten Street and the north city limits.

It was on the ground for 10 minutes Sunday from 3:32 p.m. to 3:42 p.m. A majority of the damage was to numerous power poles that were either broken or leaning.

Wilson tornado

The confirmed tornado northeast of Wilson had estimated peak winds of 100 mph and a path length of just 0.4 miles across I-70 at Seventh Road.

It was on the ground for five minutes from 4:20 p.m. to 4:25  p.m. A pivot system was flipped to the north and south of I-70.