Tornadoes strafed the Kansas City metropolitan area on Tuesday, leaving at least 11 people injured, damaging homes and scattering debris at the airport.
The entire Kansas City area was under a tornado warning at some point Tuesday evening, with a tornado reported in Lawrence, Kansas, and the storms moving east over the heart of the metropolitan area of 2.1 million people that straddles the Kansas and Missouri border.
At least 11 injuries have been reported in Douglas County, Kansas, after the county west of Kansas City was hit with a large destructive tornado.
The Lawrence Journal-World reports that Douglas County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Jenn Hethcoat said six people had been taken to the Lawrence hospital with injuries suffered during the storm, including one with serious injuries, and five more people were headed to the hospital.
Police said most of the damage in the county appeared to be outside the Lawrence city limits, but there were damaged trees, power lines and other debris on the southeastern edge of the city, and some roads were impassable. Lawrence is the home to the University of Kansas.
The sheriff’s office said that “several houses throughout the county” had sustained damage.
The Kansas City International Airport temporarily suspended flights and moved people from the terminals to parking garage tunnels for shelter because of storms passing through the area including tornadoes.
Passengers were in parking garages for about an hour before being allowed to return to the terminals.
But the storm left so much debris on the airfield that flights were delayed, the airport’s Twitter account said. It wasn’t immediately clear when flights would resume. Phone and email messages left with airport spokesman Joe McBride were not immediately returned.
The storms were part of a massive severe weather system in the central United States that produced at least eight tornadoes a day for 11 straight days, which ties a record.