Damage survey of Labor Day storms reveals straight-line winds, EF-1 tornado (VIDEO)

09/04/2014 8:17 AM

09/04/2014 5:52 PM

A damage survey of southeast Kansas in the wake of Monday night’s storms revealed that two long-lived tornadoes touched down and straight-line winds caused damage in Elgin.

The survey, conducted by the National Weather Service, determined the second of the two tornadoes was the stronger, causing EF-1 damage north of Hewins in Chautauqua County.

The tornado had peak winds of 97 miles an hour, was on the ground for eight miles and was an estimated 100 yards wide, according to data released by Chance Hayes, warning coordination meteorologist for the weather service’s Wichita branch. The tornado touched down at 8:25 p.m. 1.5 miles south of Cedar Vale in Chautauqua County and lifted 15 minutes later eight miles west-northwest of Elgin.

The tornado moved through mostly open country, though it did damage a couple of rural outbuildings and barns a mile north of Hewins.

“The outbuildings had damage to the roof and a few walls were collapsed,” the weather service report stated.

While most tornadoes track from the southwest to the northeast, this tornado traveled southeast.

The first tornado of Labor Day evening was captured on video by Valley Center storm chaser Brandon Ivey. It touched down at 8:08 p.m. four miles south of Dexter in Cowley County and was on the ground for four miles. It had maximum wind speeds of 70 miles an hour and was about 100 yards wide.

It lifted at 8:17 p.m. about six miles south of Dexter, near the intersection of K-15 and U.S. 166, without causing any damage.

Straight-line winds of up to 90 miles an hour caused tree damage in Elgin, which is just north of the Oklahoma border in Chautauqua County.

Reach Stan Finger at 316-268-6437 or sfinger@wichitaeagle.com. Follow him on Twitter: @StanFinger.

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