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Significant damage as tornado hits Harveyville, Kan.

  • Published Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2012, at 11:16 p.m.
  • Updated Thursday, April 3, 2014, at 12:40 p.m.

A tornado reportedly caused significant damage to homes and several injuries in Harveyville, Kan., about 30 miles southwest of Topeka.

The small Wabaunsee County town of about 230 residents was hit about 9 p.m. as a severe storm system swept across central Kansas.

The Topeka Capital Journal website reported at midnight that there were nine injuries. One person was in critical condition and eight others suffered minor injuries.

Dave Sterbenz, Shawnee County’s director of emergency management, said the person in critical condition was still trapped within a structure.

Severe weather also struck in Missouri, with 70 mph winds reported in Clay County at 10:43 p.m. and pea-to-nickel-sized hail across the area. Two mobile homes reportedly were blown over along with downed power lines, trapping two people, in Daviess County in northwestern Missouri. A 30-foot-by-50-foot barn reportedly was blown over in DeKalb County.

Bill Gargan, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said his office couldn’t confirm late Tuesday whether a tornado hit Harveyville. He said a survey team would be sent out in the morning to investigate.

“We’ve heard there’s substantial structural damage,” Gargan said of the town’s homes and buildings.

Early today it was reported that Gov. Sam Brownback had issued a disaster declaration for the area.

The Kansas Department of Transportation said Kansas Highway 195 was closed through and on either side of Harveyville until further notice. Kansas Highway 31 was also closed for a half-mile on each side of the city.

| The Star

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