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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Hail, strong winds batter Wichita area

By Hurst Laviana
The Wichita Eagle

A series of severe thunderstorms that moved through south-central Kansas on Wednesday night pummeled the area with golf-ball-size hail before strong winds knocked down trees and power lines across the area. Emergency dispatchers received no reports of major damage.

The Westar Energy website said nearly 3,000 Sedgwick County customers were without power as of 9:30 p.m., and the storm knocked KSAS, Channel 24 off the air.

The National Weather Service said one to two inches of rain fell on eastern Sedgwick and western Butler counties Wednesday, and dispatchers received dozens of reports of flooded streets and downed power lines in all parts of Sedgwick County. A Sedgwick County sheriff’s deputy reported that a series of power poles was knocked down along 55th Street South between Maize and Tyler roads.

There were reports that lightning started at least one grass fire in the western part of the county, but rain apparently doused the flames before firefighters arrived, dispatchers said.

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