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Hidden by rain, tornado tore damage path of 40 or 50 miles in Kansas; 2nd hit Missouri

Robert A. Cronkleton, Katie Bernard, Glenn E. Rice and Nicole Asbury, The Kansas City Star on

Published in Weather News

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The trail of damage left behind by tornadoes that tore through the Kansas City area Tuesday night will be investigated by survey teams from the National Weather Service offices in Topeka and Pleasant Hill.

The teams left early Wednesday morning to survey the area where the storms passed through, and will work toward measuring the total damage path lane and width, along with assigning EF-scale grades to the tornadoes, said Jonathan Kurtz, a meteorologist with the weather service in Pleasant Hill. Results likely will not be available until Wednesday afternoon at the earliest.

"We did have at least two tornadoes," Kurtz said. "Both were associated with the same storms."

One touched down on the Kansas side, in the southwest corner of Douglas County, and spun its way up past Lawrence and Linwood toward Bonner Springs in the Kansas City metropolitan area.

The second tornado touched down in Missouri near Kearney in Clay County and moved toward Excelsior Springs.

"A second tornado hasn't been ruled out (in Missouri)," Kurtz said. "Our survey crews will take a look. We may have that third possible tornado, but right now we haven't received much information yet from emergency management up there if there was any damage associated with that other circulation."

There were no deaths reported from the tornadoes. There were 15 weather-related injuries, three of which were serious, in Douglas County.

The tornadoes developed along a warm front that was hovering over the Kansas City metropolitan area and laying east and west across the region, Kurtz said.

"Once these storms got anchored on that boundary, they just kind of rode right along it," he said.

Kurtz estimated that the tornado was on the ground for 40 or 50 miles. The survey crews will determine how long the path actually was.

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