(By: KSAL Radio, Salina)
A large tornado in Ottawa County Tuesday evening caused damage, but no reports of serious injuries.
The first warning came just after 5:30p. A severe thunderstorm quickly intensified into a supercell thunderstorm.
The storm dropped a large tornado west of Interstate 135 in rural Ottawa County. The tornado moved very slowly, and at times was nearly stationary. The tornado was initially on a path toward Bennington. It changed direction, though, and even backtracked a little.
KSAL Storm Spotter Henry Diehl estimated the tornado to be up to a half-mile wide at times. He encountered tree damage, power poles down, damage to several outbuildings, and damage to at least one home in the area of K 18 and K 106 Highway.
Diehl says that afterwards he traveled back to survey the damage path. He found a stretch of road where for an entire mile every power pole was knocked over. He also came upon a feedlot that sustained damage, including the deaths of multiple cattle.
Diehl also came upon “The Dominator” storm chase vehicle made famous by the Discovery Channel television show “Storm Chasers” stuck in a ditch and towed it out.
Along with the tornado, the storm dropped large hail and very heavy rain that caused some flash flooding.
Other storms prompted reports of brief rope tornadoes in Barton and Rush counties. Large hail was reported in parts of Lincoln and Ellsworth Counties.
There were no immediate reports of injuries with any of the storms.
According to the National Weather Service, similar severe weather is possible in Central Kansas Wednesday and Thursday.