The massive tornado being tracked by the National Weather Service (NWS) landed its 13th consecutive touchdown in Kansas City at around 6:15 p.m. Wednesday May 29, 2019. Prior to the touchdown, the National Weather Service sent out a warning that the Kansas bound twister had an EF4 rating based on the Enhanced Fujita scale and was about to hit the area.
The NWS described the tornado as a notch below the ranking of the most powerful tornadoes ever to land. The tornado was a menacing funnel of cloud that carried peak winds of 170 miles per hour. During the past 12 days, the massive twister had cut a nearly 32-mile long stretch of destruction, the longest to have occurred since 1980.
The powerful and massive EF-4 tornado hit south of Lawrence, Kansas and caused heavy damage, which prompted the NWS to declare Kansas City under a “state of tornado emergency.”
Linwood Mayor Describes the Tornado’s Uncanny Behavior
Eighteen people were injured, with no fatalities reported. The Kansas City International Airport had to shut down temporarily in light of the massive debris picked up and carried by the vortex by as far as 40 miles,
Mayor of Linwood Brian Christenson, said that multiple residents, numbering nearly 400 people living in the suburbian part of Lawrence, Kansas had lost homes. Still, he was thankful that everyone was accounted for and that no one was killed.
Recounting the harrowing experience, Mayor Christenson said he has never seen a tornado as powerful as the one that hit them last Wednesday. He went on to describe the tornado’s passing saying
“It just picked one house randomly and took it away, while the next house might not even get damaged. The manner by which it moved and picked houses was incredible.”
Lawrence, home to the University of Kansas, was left reeling by the massive tornado; leaving behind debris, power lines and large trees along streets, making some major thoroughfares totally impassable.
Two vans belonging to the storm chasing tour operator Silver Lining Tours overturned as the tornado cut a path to south of Lawrence. The incident resulted in minor injuries among the van passengers.