EF-2 tornado damages SE Kansas town

Published On: Apr 27 2014 08:02:11 PM CDT   Updated On: Apr 28 2014 02:35:16 PM CDT

Emergency response and recovery operations are underway after a tornado struck southeast Kansas.

Thirty-four people people were hurt in the Baxter Springs tornado that hit the small community Sunday. Sixty to 70 homes and 20-25 businesses are reported damaged or destroyed.

Photos: Baxter Springs Damage

The EF-2 tornado left an 8-mile long path of destruction, beginning in Quapaw, Okla. It was about 150 yards wide when it struck Baxter Springs.

Sheriff David Groves, Cherokee County, said workers are restoring power to about 40 percent of the community and to 91 residents whose gas was disconnected after the twister, which was 2 miles long and 2 blocks wide.

U.S.-69A is closed at Baxter Springs due to debris along the roadway, according to the Kansas Department of Transportation. The public is being asked to stay away from the area.

The Red Cross set up a shelter at the Community Center, 1101 East Avenue, for those affected by the storms.

A delegation of Kansas lawmakers will tour the hardest hit areas Monday. Gov. Sam Brownback, U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins, R-Kansas, Tim Shallenburger, legislative policy director; and Maj. Gen. Lee Tafanelli, the adjutant general will survey the damage and talk to residents about help.

Emergency management teams have deployed to Baxter Springs to assist local authorities.


Officials in the southeast Kansas town of Baxter Springs say several people have been injured by a tornado that also caused extensive property damage.

Cherokee County sheriff's dispatcher Josh Harvey says no deaths have been reported. First responders from multiple agencies were going to house to house assessing damage and looking for those injured by the tornado that struck shortly after 5:30 p.m. Sunday.

Baxter Springs has about 4,200 residents. It's located six miles north of Quapaw, Okla., where a tornado struck around the same time. Two deaths were reported there.

Authorities were turning people away from Baxter Springs during the search-and-rescue operation.

Numerous funnel clouds and at least two tornadoes were spotted in southeast Kansas and southwest Missouri on Sunday.

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4/27/2014 7:28:57 PM (GMT -5:00)BAXTER SPRINGS, Kan. (AP)