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Friday, July 25, 2014

Homes damaged near Harper as storms move through Wichita area

By STAN FINGER
The Wichita Eagle

A tornado damaged multiple homes west of Harper in Harper County on Saturday night.

“There is some pretty bad damage to a farmhouse, and a couple of other homes were damaged, too,” said Scott Smith, a meteorologist with the Wichita branch of the National Weather Service. “One home has a roof ripped off.”

Numerous trees also were uprooted by the rope tornado, he said.

“It looks like the tornado was on the ground for a good while,” Smith said. “We’re probably going to have teams going out tomorrow to look at the damage.”

No injuries were reported.

Oil wells and storage tanks were damaged by a tornado on the Harper-Kingman county line, and tree lines also were struck, spotters reported. The Storm Prediction Center had logged 17 reports of tornadoes in Kansas on Saturday night – almost all of them southwest or west of Wichita.

Most tornadoes reported were weak and short-lived, Smith said, but obviously the one west of Harper was stronger than a land spout. Storm chasers were posting photos of tornadoes in Kingman County on Twitter and Facebook.

Hail larger than baseballs was reported early Saturday evening in Kingman.

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