Here’s the terrifying footage of the tornado that destroyed more than 1,000 structures in south-central Kansas after producing winds of up to 165 mph and tracing a trail of devastation more than 13 miles long across the area.
On Friday, a tornado with an EF-3 rating was videotaped blowing over the Wichita suburb of Andover, sending structures and vehicles flying into the air.
As part of a total of 1,074 structures that were damaged by the storm, according to Andover Fire Chief Chad Russell, at least 300 to 400 structures were completely destroyed by the storm.
According to the National Weather Service, the tornado remained on the ground for twenty minutes on Friday night. Drone video from the region shows the tornado’s whirlwinds destroying everything in their path, including the roofs of many residential buildings in the vicinity.
Flying debris, particularly from wooden homes, posed a serious threat to the public’s safety. The roof of the community center in the little town, as well as the YMCA building, were both partly demolished.
It is estimated that more than 12 tornadoes have touched down in Kansas and Illinois throughout the course of Friday and Saturday morning.
During the storm, four individuals were hurt, including two firemen who were responding to an emergency call in Andover. Fortunately, their injuries were not life-threatening.
Russell estimates that Andover will need years to recover after this storm.
‘The city of Andover will be affected by this for years,’ he said. ‘We still have scars from 1991 (EF-5 tornado). I’m so thankful this tornado was not as bad as that, but we will literally be doing this for years.’
Power was restored to more than 15,000 users who had lost power during the storm by Sunday. According to Evergy, less than 1,000 individuals were still without power in the Wichita region as of Sunday morning.
Mayor Brandon Whipple acknowledged on Saturday that the tornado caused damage to somewhere between 50 and 100 structures in the city.