Widespread Devastation: Nearly 500 Local Storm Reports (LSRs) from Tornadoes

Several tornadoes struck parts of the nation’s midsection over the weekend, concentrating damage in central Oklahoma and Wichita, Kan. One person was killed near Shawnee, Okla., and 21 injuries were reported throughout the state. Victims and emergency responders might not get much reprieve as the NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center was forecasting similar weather for Monday over much of the same area.

Credit: LouisvilleUSACE via Flickr

Credit: LouisvilleUSACE via Flickr

Watch Video: Tornado footage of the large wedge tornado that tore through Lincoln County, Oklahoma around 5PM on Sunday evening

Credit: Basehunters - Rozel, KS tornado

Credit: Basehunters – Rozel, KS tornado

Forecasters had been warning of bad weather since last Wednesday and on Sunday said conditions had ripened for powerful tornadoes. Tornadoes were reported Sunday in Iowa, Kansas and Oklahoma as part of a storm system that stretched from Texas to Minnesota. Heavy rains and straight-line winds hit much of western Oklahoma on Saturday. Tornadoes were also reported Sunday at Edmond, Arcadia and near Wellston to the north and northeast of Oklahoma City. The supercell that generated the twisters weakened as it approached Tulsa, 90 miles to the northeast.

Credit: Ciaran Walsh via Flickr

Credit: Ciaran Walsh via Flickr

In Wichita, Kan., a tornado touched down near Mid-Content Airport on the city’s southwest side shortly before 4 p.m., knocking out power to thousands of homes and businesses but bypassing the most populated areas of Kansas’ biggest city. The Wichita tornado was an EF1 on the enhanced Fujita scale, with winds of 110 mph, according to the weather service. Sedgwick County Emergency Management Director Randy Duncan said there were no reports of fatalities or injuries in Kansas. There were also two reports of tornadoes touching down in Iowa on Sunday night, including one near Huxley, about 20 miles north of Des Moines, and one in Grundy County, which is northeast of Des Moines. There were no immediate reports of major damage or injuries.

Credit: DVIDSHUB via Flickr

Credit: DVIDSHUB via Flickr

With nearly 500 local storm reports that came in, widespread devastation was to be expected. When tornados are in the vicinity, minutes definitely matter. WeatherBug was 70% faster than all other weather apps, giving an average of 29 minutes of warning before the storm hit, while other apps gave only 17 minutes. It is also important to note that WeatherBug warned on ALL tornadoes, hail and high wind events. All other weather apps failed to warn on 4 tornadoes and WeatherBug’s Dangerous Thunderstorm Alerts (DTAs) was the ONLY alert even issued for 43 of the events. Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected.

For tips on what to do before, during and after a tornado, read WeatherBug’s Twister 101.

Credit: Kansas City District via Flickr

Credit: Kansas City District via Flickr

Stay ahead of the storm, download WeatherBug today!

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Associated Press writers Ken Miller in Shawnee, Heather Hollingsworth in Kansas City, Mo., and Kelly P. Kissel in Little Rock, Ark., contributed to this report. Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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