Weather

Five people injured when tornado strikes Eureka. Governor declares disaster

Lightning strikes from storms southwest of Wichita on Tuesday night. The line of storms moved into south-central Kansas after a tornado was reported in Greenwood County a few hours earlier. (June 26, 2018)
Lightning strikes from storms southwest of Wichita on Tuesday night. The line of storms moved into south-central Kansas after a tornado was reported in Greenwood County a few hours earlier. (June 26, 2018) The Wichita Eagle

Five people were injured when a tornado caused damage to buildings and uprooted trees in Eureka on Tuesday night, officials said.

The Greenwood County emergency management director reported to the National Weather Service at 7:21 p.m. that a tornado was on the ground producing structural damage and uprooting trees in Eureka, which is about 65 miles east of Wichita.

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"Eureka sustained a direct hit from a tornado," Greenwood County Emergency Management tweeted. "Shelter at Methodist Church. No volunteers are needed right now. The area has power lines down and is not safe."

Gov. Jeff Colyer issued a state of disaster emergency proclamation at 8:33 p.m. declaring a local disaster in Greenwood County, the Kansas Army National Guard said. Officials are conducting damage assessments and search and rescue efforts are underway.

Eureka officials said Tuesday night that five people were injured, including one with critical injuries. No deaths were reported. There was also extensive tree damage.

Approximately 5,700 Westar Energy customers are without power, the National Guard said.

The American Red Cross opened a sheltered for displaced residents at the Methodist Church, 521 N. Main St.

U.S. 54 from Flint Hills Road east to Kansas Highway 99 was closed due to damage from the tornado, the Kansas Department of Transportation said.

Eureka was hit by a tornado in July 2016.

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